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Causation and Laws of Nature is a collection of articles which represents current research on the metaphysics of causation and laws of nature, mostly by authors working in or active in the Australasian region. The book provides an overview of current work on the theory of causation, including counterfactual, singularist, nomological and causal process approaches. It also covers work on the nature of laws of nature, with special emphasis on the scientific essentialist theory that laws of nature are, at base, the fundamental dispositions or capacities of natural kinds of things. Because the book represents a good cross-section of authors currently working on these themes in the Australasian region, it conveys something of the interest and excitement of an active philosophical debate between advocates of several different research programmes in the area.
Foreword. Acknowledgements. Introduction; H. Sankey. Part I: The Problem of Laws of Nature. Making Sense of Laws of Physics; A. Chalmers. Part II: Scientific Essentialism. Causal Powers and Laws of Nature; B. Ellis. Comment on Ellis; D. Armstrong. Reply to Armstrong; B. Ellis. Scientific Ellisianism; J. Bigelow. Bigelow's Worries about Essentialism; B. Ellis. The Leckey-Bigelow View; M. Leckey. Comment on The Leckey-Bigelow View; C. Lierse. Part III: Laws, Quantities and Dispositions. Finkish Dispositions; D. Lewis. Comment on Lewis; B. Taylor. Laws and Cosmology; J. Smart. Comment on Smart; D. Armstrong. Disjunctive Laws; A. Baker. Laws of Nature as Relations between Quantities; J. Forge. Real Law in Perice's `Pragmaticism' (Or: How Scholastic Realism Met the Scientific Method); C. Legg. The Open Door: Counterfactual versus Singularist Theories of Causation; D. Armstrong. Causal Dependence and Chance Laws; J. Clendinnen. Causation is the Transfer of Information; J. Collier. Good Connections: Causation, Identity through Time and Conserved Quantities; P. Dowe. Probabilistic Causal Structure; K. Korb. Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Conceptions of Causation; P. Menzies. The Role of History in Microphysics; H. Price. Comment on Price; K. Hutchison.