Nomic universals and particular causal relations: Which are basic and which are derived?

2006-12-01
Bolender, John
Armstrong holds that a law of nature is a certain sort of structural universal which, in turn, fixes causal relations between particular states of affairs. His claim that these nomic structural universals explain causal relations commits him to saying that such universals are irreducible, not supervenient upon the particular causal relations they fix. However, Armstrong also wants to avoid Plato's view that a universal can exist without being instantiated, a view which he regards as incompatible with naturalism. This construal of naturalism forces Armstrong to say that universals are abstractions from a certain class of particulars; they are abstractions from first-order states of affairs, to be more precise. It is here argued that these two tendencies in Armstrong cannot be reconciled: To say that universals are abstractions from first-order states of affairs is not compatible with saying that universals fix causal relations between particulars. Causal relations are themselves states of affairs of a sort, and Armstrong's claim that a law is a kind of structural universal is best understood as the view that any given law logically supervenes on its corresponding causal relations. The result is an inconsistency, Armstrong having to say that laws do not supervene on particular causal relations while also being committed to the view that they do so supervene. The inconsistency is perhaps best resolved by denying that universals are abstractions from states of affairs.

Suggestions

On an insufficient argument against sufficient reason
Vallicella, WF (Wiley, 1997-04-01)
In one of its versions, the principle of sufficient reason maintains that every true proposition has a sufficient reason for its truth. Recently, a number of philosophers have argued against the principle on the ground that there are propositions such as the conjunction of all truths that are ‘too big’ to have a sufficient reason. The task of this article is to show that such maximal propositions pose no threat to the principle. According to what is perhaps the most ‘popular’ version of the principle to suf...
Revisiting immanence and conatus in Spinoza
Yaylım, Berk; İnam, Ahmet; Department of Philosophy (2015)
This thesis focuses on the concept of immanence in Spinoza’s philosophy and its importance in explicating theory of knowledge and conatus. While accounting for immanence, it will seek not only his metaphysics but also a critical discussion of transcendence and emanation. After the metaphysical system behind his philosophy is explained, his defense of necessitarianism will be emphasized. In this study, under the light of these, a coherent interpretation of Spinoza’s solutions, how these relate to his theory ...
RELATIVELY COMPLETELY HAPPY
Parkan, Barış (2007-06-22)
This paper tries to formulate a link between a phenomenological description of certain experiences of the co-presence of the past, present and future with the scientific theory of the block model of the universe that is based on the Einstein-Minkovski conception of spacetime. The argument that is constructed to this end utilizes Whitehead's process metaphysics. Using Whiteheads attack on the bifurcation of nature problem as my springboard, I argue that even though the passage of time as described in the blo...
Nietzsche’s perspectivist epistemology : epistemological implications of will to power
Soysal, Soner; Turan, Şeref Halil; Department of Philosophy (2007)
The aim of this study is to examine the relation between Nietzsche’s perspectivism and his doctrine of the will to power and to show that perspectivism is almost a direct and natural consequence of the doctrine of the will to power. Without exploring the doctrine, it is not possible to understand what Nietzsche’s perspectivism is and what he trying to do by proposing it as an alternative to traditional epistemology. To this aim, firstly, Nietzsche’s doctrine of the will to power is explained in detail. Next...
Labor, leisure and freedom in the philosophies of Aristotle, Karl Marx and Herbert Marcuse
Kılınç, Doğan Barış; Turan, Şeref Halil; Department of Philosophy (2006)
The aim of this study is to present an examination of the philosophies of Aristotle, Karl Marx and Herbert Marcuse concerning labor and leisure in the context of freedom. These philosophers have paid attention to the concepts labor and leisure; their view of freedom is dependent on the relationship they have established between labor and leisure. To this end, I firstly give a general overview of the concepts labor, leisure and freedom; afterwards, I try to show how these concepts have been considered in the...
Citation Formats
J. Bolender, “Nomic universals and particular causal relations: Which are basic and which are derived?,” PHILOSOPHIA, pp. 405–410, 2006, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/64252.