Structural Realism and the Relationship Between the Special Sciences and Physics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The primacy of physics generates a philosophical problem that the naturalist must solve in order to be entitled to an egalitarian acceptance of the ontological commitments he or she inherits from the special sciences and fundamental physics. The problem is the generalized causal exclusion argument. If there is no genuine causation in the domains of the special sciences but only in fundamental physics then there are grounds for doubting the existence of macroscopic objects and properties, or at least the concreteness of them. The aim of this paper is to show that the causal exclusion problem derives its force from a false dichotomy between Humeanism about causation and a notion of productive or generative causation based on a defunct model of the physical world.
Translated title of the contributionStructural Realism and the Relationship Between the Special Sciences and Physics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744 - 755
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume75
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Science and Philosophy
  • Centre_for_science_and_philosophy

Keywords

  • physics and philosophy
  • special sciences
  • causal exclusion problem
  • structural realism
  • naturalism

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