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Properties Powers and Structures

Properties  Powers and Structures Author Alexander Bird
ISBN-10 9781136345715
Release 2013-03-01
Pages 280
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While the phrase "metaphysics of science" has been used from time to time, it has only recently begun to denote a specific research area where metaphysics meets philosophy of science—and the sciences themselves. The essays in this volume demonstrate that metaphysics of science is an innovative field of research in its own right. The principle areas covered are: The modal metaphysics of properties: What is the essential nature of natural properties? Are all properties essentially categorical? Are they all essentially dispositions, or are some categorical and others dispositional? Realism in mathematics and its relation to science: What does a naturalistic commitment of scientific realism tell us about our commitments to mathematical entities? Can this question be framed in something other than a Quinean philosophy? Dispositions and their relation to causation: Can we generate an account of causation that takes dispositionality as fundamental? And if we take dispositions as fundamental (and hence not having a categorical causal basis), what is the ontological ground of dispositions? Pandispositionalism: Could all properties be dispositional in nature? Natural kinds: Are there natural kinds, and if so what account of their nature should we give? For example, do they have essences? Here we consider how these issues may be illuminated by considering examples from reals science, in particular biochemistry and neurobiology.

Structure and the Metaphysics of Mind

Structure and the Metaphysics of Mind Author William Jaworski
ISBN-10 9780198749561
Release 2016-03-03
Pages 384
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William Jaworski shows how hylomorphism can be used to solve mind-body problems--the question of how thought, feeling, perception, and other mental phenomena fit into the physical world. Hylomorphism claims that structure is a basic ontological and explanatory principle, and is responsible for individuals being the kinds of things they are, and having the powers or capacities they have. From a hylomorphic perspective, mind-body problems are byproducts of aworldview that rejects structure, and which lacks a basic principle which distinguishes the parts of the physical universe that can think, feel, and perceive from those that can't. Without such a principle,the existence of those powers in the physical world can start to look inexplicable and mysterious. But if mental phenomena are structural phenomena then they are uncontroversially part of the physical world. Hylomorphism thus provides an elegant way of solving mind-body problems.

Scientific Concepts and Investigative Practice

Scientific Concepts and Investigative Practice Author Uljana Feest
ISBN-10 9783110253610
Release 2012-10-30
Pages 308
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Recent philosophy and history of science have seen a surge of interest in the role of concepts in scientific research. Combining philosophical and historical scholarship, the articles in this volume investigate the ways in which scientists form and use concepts, rather than in what the concepts themselves represent. The fields treated range from mathematics to virology and genetics, from nuclear physics to psychology, from technology to present-day neural engineering.

Neo Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics

Neo Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics Author Daniel D. Novotný
ISBN-10 9781134630165
Release 2014-04-16
Pages 342
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This volume re-examines some of the major themes at the intersection of traditional and contemporary metaphysics. The book uses as a point of departure Francisco Suárez’s Metaphysical Disputations published in 1597. Minimalist metaphysics in empiricist/pragmatist clothing have today become mainstream in analytic philosophy. Independently of this development, the progress of scholarship in ancient and medieval philosophy makes clear that traditional forms of metaphysics have affinities with some of the streams in contemporary analytic metaphysics. The book brings together leading contemporary metaphysicians to investigate the viability of a neo-Aristotelian metaphysics.

Powers and Capacities in Philosophy

Powers and Capacities in Philosophy Author John Greco
ISBN-10 9781135121136
Release 2013-01-25
Pages 360
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Powers and Capacities in Philosophy is designed to stake out an emerging, discipline-spanning neo-Aristotelian framework grounded in realism about causal powers. The volume brings together for the first time original essays by leading philosophers working on powers in relation to metaphysics, philosophy of natural and social science, philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. In each area, the concern is to show how a commitment to real causal powers affects discussion at the level in question. In metaphysics, for example, realism about powers is now recognized as providing an alternative to orthodox accounts of causation, modality, properties and laws. Dispositional realist philosophers of science, meanwhile, argue that a powers ontology allows for a proper account of the nature of scientific explanation. In the philosophy of mind there is the suggestion that agency is best understood in terms of the distinctive powers of human beings. Those who take virtue theoretic approaches in epistemology and ethics have long been interested in the powers that allow for knowledge and/or moral excellence. In social and political philosophy, finally, powers theorists are interested in the powers of sociological phenomena such as collectivities, institutions, roles and/or social relations, but also in the conditions of possibility for the cultivation of the powers of individuals. The book will be of interest to philosophers working in any of these areas, as well as to historians of philosophy, political theorists and critical realists.

Fundamental Causation

Fundamental Causation Author Christopher Gregory Weaver
ISBN-10 1138213136
Release 2018-05-24
Pages 368
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Fundamental Causation addresses issues in the metaphysics of deterministic singular causation, the metaphysics of events, property instances, facts, preventions, and omissions, as well as the debate between causal reductionists and causal anti-reductionists. The book also pays special attention to causation and causal structure in physics. Weaver argues that causation is a multigrade obtaining relation that is transitive, irreflexive, and asymmetric. When causation is singular, deterministic and such that it relates purely contingent events, the relation is also universal, intrinsic, and well-founded. He shows that proper causal relata are events understood as states of substances at ontological indices. He then proves that causation cannot be reduced to some non-causal base, and that the best account of that relation should be unashamedly primitivist about the dependence relation that underwrites its very nature. The book demonstrates a distinctive realist and anti-reductionist account of causation by detailing precisely how the account outperforms reductionist and competing anti-reductionist accounts in that it handles all of the difficult cases while overcoming all of the general objections to anti-reductionism upon which other anti-reductionist accounts falter. This book offers an original and interesting view of causation and will appeal to scholars and advanced students in the areas of metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of physics.


Metaphysics Author Michael J. Loux
ISBN-10 0415261090
Release 2001
Pages 555
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This comprehensive anthology of classic and contemporary readings by leading philosophers complements the second edition of Michael Loux's Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 2001).

A Minimalist Ontology of the Natural World

A Minimalist Ontology of the Natural World Author Michael Esfeld
ISBN-10 9781351392174
Release 2017-10-25
Pages 182
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This book seeks to work out which commitments are minimally sufficient to obtain an ontology of the natural world that matches all of today’s well-established physical theories. We propose an ontology of the natural world that is defined only by two axioms: (1) There are distance relations that individuate simple objects, namely matter points. (2) The matter points are permanent, with the distances between them changing. Everything else comes in as a means to represent the change in the distance relations in a manner that is both as simple and as informative as possible. The book works this minimalist ontology out in philosophical as well as mathematical terms and shows how one can understand classical mechanics, quantum field theory and relativistic physics on the basis of this ontology. Along the way, we seek to achieve four subsidiary aims: (a) to make a case for a holistic individuation of the basic objects (ontic structural realism); (b) to work out a new version of Humeanism, dubbed Super-Humeanism, that does without natural properties; (c) to set out an ontology of quantum physics that is an alternative to quantum state realism and that avoids any ontological dualism of particles and fields; (d) to vindicate a relationalist ontology based on point objects also in the domain of relativistic physics.

Metaphysics and Science

Metaphysics and Science Author Stephen Mumford
ISBN-10 9780191656330
Release 2013-06-27
Pages 256
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Metaphysics and Science brings together important new work within an emerging philosophical discipline: the metaphysics of science. In the opening chapter, a definition of the metaphysics of science is offered, one which explains why the topics of laws, causation, natural kinds, and emergence are at the discipline's heart. The book is then divided into four sections, which group together papers from leading academics on each of those four topics. Among the questions discussed are: How are laws and measurement methods related? Can a satisfactory reductive account of laws be given? How can Lorentz transformation laws be explained? How are dispositions triggered? What role should dispositional properties play in our understanding of causation? Are natural kinds and natural properties distinct? How is the Kripke-Putnam semantics for natural kind terms related to the natural kind essentialist thesis? What would have to be the case for natural kind terms to have determinate reference? What bearing, if any, does nonlinearity in science have on the issue of metaphysical emergence? This collection will be of interest to philosophers, scientists and post-graduates working on problems at the intersection of metaphysics and science.

Metaphysics of Science

Metaphysics of Science Author Markus Schrenk
ISBN-10 9781317273059
Release 2016-08-12
Pages 348
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Metaphysics and science have a long but troubled relationship. In the twentieth century the Logical Positivists argued metaphysics was irrelevant and that philosophy should be guided by science. However, metaphysics and science attempt to answer many of the same, fundamental questions: What are laws of nature? What is causation? What are natural kinds? In this book, Markus Schrenk examines and explains the central questions and problems in the metaphysics of science. He reviews the development of the field from the early modern period through to the latest research, systematically assessing key topics including: dispositions counterfactual conditionals laws of nature causation properties natural kinds essence necessity. With the addition of chapter summaries and annotated further reading, Metaphysics of Science is a much-needed, clear and informative survey of this exciting area of philosophical research. It is essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy of science and metaphysics.

Philosophy of Population Health

Philosophy of Population Health Author Sean A Valles
ISBN-10 9781351670784
Release 2018-05-11
Pages 224
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Population health has recently grown from a series of loosely connected critiques of twentieth-century public health and medicine into a theoretical framework with a corresponding ?eld of research—population health science. Its approach is to promote the public’s health through improving everyday human life: afford-able nutritious food, clean air, safe places where children can play, living wages, etc. It recognizes that addressing contemporary health challenges such as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will take much more than good hospitals and public health departments. Blending philosophy of science/medicine, public health ethics and history, this book offers a framework that explains, analyses and largely endorses the features that de?ne this relatively new ?eld. Presenting a philosophical perspective, Valles helps to clarify what these features are and why they matter, including: searching for health’s "upstream" causes in social life, embracing a professional commitment to studying and ameliorating the staggering health inequities in and between populations; and reforming scienti?c practices to foster humility and respect among the many scientists and non- scientists who must work collaboratively to promote health. Featuring illustrative case studies from around the globe at the end of all main chapters, this radical monograph is written to be accessible to all scholars and advanced students who have an interest in health—from public health students to professional philosophers.

Feminist Metaphysics

Feminist Metaphysics Author Charlotte Witt
ISBN-10 9048137837
Release 2010-11-25
Pages 232
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The present volume is an exciting new collection of original essays by outstanding feminist theorists including Sally Haslanger, Marilyn Frye and Linda Alcoff. Feminist Metaphysics is the first collection of articles addressing metaphysical issues from a feminist perspective. The essays cover central feminist topics including: the ontology of sex and gender, persons, identity and subjectivity, and the relations among experience, ideology and reality. Many of the papers combine cutting-edge feminist theory with contemporary metaphysics and the philosophy of language. The volume is also distinctive in including articles representing both analytic and continental perspectives on metaphysics. The essays are philosophically sophisticated and are primarily intended for a professional audience of philosophers and feminist theorists.

Science in Metaphysics

Science in Metaphysics Author Vassilis Livanios
ISBN-10 9783319412917
Release 2017-02-24
Pages 251
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This book explores the dispositional and categorical debates on the metaphysics of properties. It defends the view that all fundamental properties and relations are contingently categorical, while also examining alternative accounts of the nature of properties. Drawing upon both established research and the author’s own investigation into the broader discipline of the metaphysics of science, this book provides a comprehensive study of the many views and opinions regarding a most debatable topic in contemporary metaphysics. Science in Metaphysics will be of interest to metaphysicians of science, analytic metaphysicians and philosophers of science and physics alike.

Capital as a Social Kind

Capital as a Social Kind Author Howard Engelskirchen
ISBN-10 9781136810473
Release 2011-03-10
Pages 256
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Capital as a Social Kind provides an introduction to social kinds in social theory. Thinking about kinds, the way we sort the things of the world into categories -- water, for example, is a natural kind – has made an important contribution to our understanding of science in the last half century, but these advances have been largely applicable to the natural, rather than the social sciences. Drawing on the rich examples offered by Marx’s analysis of capital and exploring a methodology that will be of interest to both Marxist and non-Marxist social theorists alike, Capital as a Social Kind extends this approach to the study of social life. The book argues that, provoked by his study of Aristotle, Marx’s attentions foreshadowed contemporary themes in the realist philosophy of science. Importantly, social kind analysis is relevant not only to understanding his critique of political economy but illuminates also a materialist study of law, justice, morality and the transition to socialism. Social kind analysis also opens a path for the development of today’s moral realism by suggesting the need for a systematic study of the causal structures of social life. In this respect the importance of normative themes in Marxism is defended against claims that the Marxist tradition lacks the resources to call capitalism unjust or to defend morality and human rights. The origin of capital, Marx suggests, can be found in the rupture of an original unity between the laborer and the means of labor, and the book explores the way a structure of separations best characterizes capital as a social kind. This uncovers a little developed emphasis in Marx’s work – his focus on the phenomena of separation that define our lives and also on forms of association required to transcend them. Given that capitalism has made the instruments of labor instruments of social labor, forms of association that would recover worker control over them must be democratic. The transition to socialism, the book concludes, is just winning the battle of democracy. This book will be of interest to students and researchers of economics, philosophy and indeed any social science subject.

Alien Powers

Alien Powers Author Kenneth Minogue
ISBN-10 9781351321549
Release 2017-10-19
Pages 395
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The term "ideology" can cover almost any set of ideas, but its power to bewitch political activists results from its strange logic: part philosophy, part science, part spiritual revelation, all tied together in leading to a remarkable paradox--that the modern Western world, beneath its liberal appearance, is actually the most systematically oppressive system of despotism the world has ever seen. Alien Powers: The Pure Theory of Ideology takes this complex intellectual construction apart, analyzing its logical, rhetorical, and psychological devices and thus opening it up to critical analysis. Ideologists assert that our lives are governed by a hidden system. Minogue traces this notion to Karl Marx who taught intellectuals the philosophical, scientific, moral, and religious moves of the ideological game. The believer would find in these ideas an endless source of new liberating discoveries about the meaning of life, and also the grand satisfaction of struggling to overcome oppression. Minogue notes that while the patterns of ideological thought were consistent, there was little agreement on who the oppressor actually was. Marx said it was the bourgeoisie, but others found the oppressor to be males, governments, imperialists, the white race, or the worldwide Jewish conspiracy. Ideological excitement created turmoil in the twentieth century, but the defeat of the more violent and vicious ideologies--Nazism after 1945 and Communism after 1989--left the passion for social perfection as vibrant as ever. Activist intellectuals still seek to "see through" the life we lead. The positive goals of utopia may for the moment have faded, but the ideological hatred of modernity has remained, and much of our intellectual life has degenerated into a muddled and dogmatic skepticism. For Minogue, the complex task of "demystifying" the "demystifiers" requires that we should discover how ideology works. It must join together each of its complex strands of thought in order to understand the remarkable power of the whole.

Conjectures and Refutations

Conjectures and Refutations Author Karl Popper
ISBN-10 9781135971373
Release 2014-05-01
Pages 608
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Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.

Scientific Essentialism

Scientific Essentialism Author Brian Ellis
ISBN-10 0521800943
Release 2001-04-09
Pages 309
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Examines the laws of nature.