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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.
Stephen Mumford is Professor of Metaphysics in the Department of Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is the author of Dispositions (OUP, 1998), Russell on Metaphysics (Routledge, 2003), Laws in Nature (Routledge, 2004), David Armstrong (Acumen, 2007), Watching Sport: Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotions (Routledge, 2011), and Getting Causes from Powers (OUP, 2011) with Rani Lill Anjum). He was editor of George Molnar's posthumous Powers: a Study in Metaphysics (OUP, 2003).
Matthew Tugby is Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Previously, he worked as Doctoral Researcher on the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council's Metaphysics of Science Project, based at the University of Nottingham. He has since published on the topic of dispositions and works on a range of issues at the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of science.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. What is the Metaphysics of Science?, Stephen Mumford and Matthew Tugby Part I: Laws 2. Measurement, Laws, and Counterfactuals, John Roberts 3. Laws, Causes, and Invariance, Jim Woodward 4. How to Explain the Lorentz Transformations, Marc Lange Part II: Dispositions and Causes 5. A Disposition-based Process-theory of Causation, Andreas Huttemann 6. How to Activate a Power, Jennifer McKitrick Part III: Natural Kinds 7. How to Carve Across the Joint in Nature without Abandoning Kripke-Putnam Semantics, Helen Beebee 8. Are Natural Kinds and Natural Properties Distinct?, Emma Tobin 9. Realism about Structures and Kinds, Laurie Paul Part IV: Emergence 10. Nonlinearity and Metaphysical Emergence, Jessica Wilson Index