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Causation Physics And The Constitution Of Reality

Author: Huw Price
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199278199
Size: 28.91 MB
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In philosophy as in ordinary life, cause and effect are twin pillars on which much of our thought seems based. But almost a century ago, Bertrand Russell declared that modern physics leaves these pillars without foundations. Russell's revolutionary conclusion was that 'the law of causality is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm'. Russell's famous challenge remains unanswered. Despite dramatic advances in physics,the intervening century has taken us no closer to an explanation of how to find a place for causation in a world of the kind that physics reveals. In particular, we still have no satisfactory account of the directionality of causation - the difference between cause and effect, and the fact that causes typically precede their effects. In this important collection of new essays, 13 leading scholars revisit Russell's revolution, in search of reconciliation. The connecting theme in these essays is that to reconcile causation with physics, we need to put ourselves in the picture: we need to think about why creatures in our situation should present their world in causal terms.

Causation Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide

Author: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199808694
Size: 43.80 MB
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This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study Philosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.oxfordbibligraphies.com.

The Oxford Handbook Of Philosophy Of Physics

Author: Robert Batterman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195392043
Size: 14.90 MB
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This Oxford Handbook provides an overview of many of the topics that currently engage philosophers of physics. It surveys new issues and the problems that have become a focus of attention in recent years. It also provides up-to-date discussions of the still very important problems that dominated the field in the past. In the late 20th Century, the philosophy of physics was largely focused on orthodox Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory. The measurement problem, the question of the possibility of hidden variables, and the nature of quantum locality dominated the literature on the quantum mechanics, whereas questions about relationalism vs. substantivalism, and issues about underdetermination of theories dominated the literature on spacetime. These issues still receive considerable attention from philosophers, but many have shifted their attentions to other questions related to quantum mechanics and to spacetime theories. Quantum field theory has become a major focus, particularly from the point of view of algebraic foundations. Concurrent with these trends, there has been a focus on understanding gauge invariance and symmetries. The philosophy of physics has evolved even further in recent years with attention being paid to theories that, for the most part, were largely ignored in the past. For example, the relationship between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics—-once thought to be a paradigm instance of unproblematic theory reduction—-is now a hotly debated topic. The implicit, and sometimes explicit, reductionist methodology of both philosophers and physicists has been severely criticized and attention has now turned to the explanatory and descriptive roles of "non-fundamental,'' phenomenological theories. This shift of attention includes "old'' theories such as classical mechanics, once deemed to be of little philosophical interest. Furthermore, some philosophers have become more interested in "less fundamental'' contemporary physics such as condensed matter theory. Questions abound with implications for the nature of models, idealizations, and explanation in physics. This Handbook showcases all these aspects of this complex and dynamic discipline.

Causation In Science And The Methods Of Scientific Discovery

Author: Rani Lill Anjum
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198733666
Size: 51.87 MB
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Causation is the main foundation upon which the possibility of science rests. Without causation, there would be no scientific understanding, explanation, prediction, nor application in new technologies. How we discover causal connections is no easy matter, however. Causation often lies hiddenfrom view and it is vital that we adopt the right methods for uncovering it. The choice of methods will inevitably reflect what one takes causation to be, making an accurate account of causation an even more pressing matter. This enquiry informs the correct norms for an empirical study of the world. In Causation in Science and the Methods of Scientific Discovery, Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford propose nine new norms of scientific discovery. A number of existing methodological and philosophical orthodoxies are challenged as they argue that progress in science is being held back by an overlysimplistic philosophy of causation.

Idealism

Author: Tyron Goldschmidt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198746970
Size: 51.29 MB
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Idealism is a family of metaphysical views each of which gives priority to the mental. The best-known forms of idealism in Western philosophy are Berkeleyan idealism, which gives ontological priority to the mental (minds and ideas) over the physical (bodies), and Kantian idealism, which gives a kind of explanatory priority to the mental (the structure of the understanding) over the physical (the structure of the empirical world). Although idealism was once a dominant view in Western philosophy, it has suffered almost total neglect over the last several decades. This book rectifies this situation by bringing together seventeen essays by leading philosophers on the topic of metaphysical idealism. The various essays explain, attack, or defend a variety of idealistic theories, including not only Berkeleyan and Kantian idealisms but also those developed in traditions less familiar to analytic philosophers, including Buddhism and Hassidic Judaism. Although a number of the articles draw on historical sources, all will be of interest to philosophers working in contemporary metaphysics. This volume aims to spark a revival of serious philosophical interest in metaphysical idealism.

Causal Reasoning In Physics

Author: Mathias Frisch
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316062392
Size: 33.71 MB
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Much has been written on the role of causal notions and causal reasoning in the so-called 'special sciences' and in common sense. But does causal reasoning also play a role in physics? Mathias Frisch argues that, contrary to what influential philosophical arguments purport to show, the answer is yes. Time-asymmetric causal structures are as integral a part of the representational toolkit of physics as a theory's dynamical equations. Frisch develops his argument partly through a critique of anti-causal arguments and partly through a detailed examination of actual examples of causal notions in physics, including causal principles invoked in linear response theory and in representations of radiation phenomena. Offering a new perspective on the nature of scientific theories and causal reasoning, this book will be of interest to professional philosophers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the role of causal thinking in science.

The Oxford Handbook Of Causation

Author: Helen Beebee
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191629464
Size: 21.91 MB
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Causation is a central topic in many areas of philosophy. In metaphysics, philosophers want to know what causation is, and how it is related to laws of nature, probability, action, and freedom of the will. In epistemology, philosophers investigate how causal claims can be inferred from statistical data, and how causation is related to perception, knowledge and explanation. In the philosophy of mind, philosophers want to know whether and how the mind can be said to have causal efficacy, and in ethics, whether there is a moral distinction between acts and omissions and whether the moral value of an act can be judged according to its consequences. And causation is a contested concept in other fields of enquiry, such as biology, physics, and the law. This book provides an in-depth and comprehensive overview of these and other topics, as well as the history of the causation debate from the ancient Greeks to the logical empiricists. The chapters provide surveys of contemporary debates, while often also advancing novel and controversial claims; and each includes a comprehensive bibliography and suggestions for further reading. The book is thus the most comprehensive source of information about causation currently available, and will be invaluable for upper-level undergraduates through to professional philosophers.

A Companion To The Philosophy Of Time

Author: Adrian Bardon
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118522052
Size: 54.90 MB
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A Companion to the Philosophy of Time presents the broadest treatment of this subject yet; 32 specially commissioned articles - written by an international line-up of experts – provide an unparalleled reference work for students and specialists alike in this exciting field. The most comprehensive reference work on the philosophy of time currently available The first collection to tackle the historical development of the philosophy of time in addition to covering contemporary work Provides a tripartite approach in its organization, covering history of the philosophy of time, time as a feature of the physical world, and time as a feature of experience Includes contributions from both distinguished, well-established scholars and rising stars in the field

Causation And Its Basis In Fundamental Physics

Author: Douglas Kutach
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019993620X
Size: 44.38 MB
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This book is the first comprehensive attempt to solve what Hartry Field has called "the central problem in the metaphysics of causation": the problem of reconciling the need for causal notions in the special sciences with the limited role of causation in physics. If the world evolves fundamentally according to laws of physics, what place can be found for the causal regularities and principles identified by the special sciences? Douglas Kutach answers this question by invoking a novel distinction between fundamental and derivative reality and a complementary conception of reduction. He then constructs a framework that allows all causal regularities from the sciences to be rendered in terms of fundamental relations. By drawing on a methodology that focuses on explaining the results of specially crafted experiments, Kutach avoids the endless task of catering to pre-theoretical judgments about causal scenarios. This volume is a detailed case study that uses fundamental physics to elucidate causation, but technicalities are eschewed so that a wide range of philosophers can profit. The book is packed with innovations: new models of events, probability, counterfactual dependence, influence, and determinism. These lead to surprising implications for topics like Newcomb's paradox, action at a distance, Simpson's paradox, and more. Kutach explores the special connection between causation and time, ultimately providing a never-before-presented explanation for the direction of causation. Along the way, readers will discover that events cause themselves, that low barometer readings do cause thunderstorms after all, and that we humans routinely affect the past more than we affect the future.

Expressivism Pragmatism And Representationalism

Author: Huw Price
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107354838
Size: 36.71 MB
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Pragmatists have traditionally been enemies of representationalism but friends of naturalism, when naturalism is understood to pertain to human subjects, in the sense of Hume and Nietzsche. In this volume Huw Price presents his distinctive version of this traditional combination, as delivered in his René Descartes Lectures at Tilburg University in 2008. Price contrasts his view with other contemporary forms of philosophical naturalism, comparing it with other pragmatist and neo-pragmatist views such as those of Robert Brandom and Simon Blackburn. Linking their different 'expressivist' programmes, Price argues for a radical global expressivism that combines key elements from both. With Paul Horwich and Michael Williams, Brandom and Blackburn respond to Price in new essays. Price replies in the closing essay, emphasising links between his views and those of Wilfrid Sellars. The volume will be of great interest to advanced students of philosophy of language and metaphysics.