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Metaphysics and Science

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Stephen Mumford
Mind Association Occasional Series
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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.
Introduction; 1 Stephen Mumford and Matthew Tugby: What is the Metaphysics of Science?; Part I: Laws; 2 John Roberts: Measurement, Laws, and Counterfactuals; 3 Jim Woodward: Laws, Causes, and Invariance; 4 Marc Lange: How to Explain the Lorentz Transformations; Part II: Dispositions and Causes; 5 Andreas Huttemann: A Disposition-based Process-theory of Causation; 6 Jennifer McKitrick: How to Activate a Power; Part III: Natural Kinds; 7 Helen Beebee: How to Carve Across the Joint in Nature without Abandoning Kripke-Putnam Semantics; 8 Emma Tobin: Are Natural Kinds and Natural Properties Distinct?; 9 Laurie Paul: Realism about Structures and Kinds; Part IV: Emergence; 10 Jessica Wilson: Nonlinearity and Metaphysical Emergence; Index

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