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Causation and Universals - Evan Fales

Causation and Universals

Hardcover

Published: 7th June 1990
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Without objective causal relations and universals, idealism and scepticism win the perennial philosophical battle. Thus claims Evan Fales, who argues for an empiricist yet realist view of this topic, and traces the implications of his view.The world contains objective causal relations and universals, both of which are intimately connected. If these claims are true, they must have far-reaching consequences, breathing new life into the theory of empirical knowledge and reinforcing epistemological realism. Without causes and universals, Professor Fales argues, realism is defeated, and idealism or scepticism wins. Fales begins with a detailed analysis of David Hume's argument that we have no direct experience of necessary connections between events, concluding that Hume was mistaken on this fundamental point. Then, adopting the view of Armstrong and others that causation is grounded in a second-order relation between universals, he explores a range of topics for which the resulting analysis of causation has systematic implications. In particular, causal identity conditions for physical universals are proposed, which generate a new argument for Platonism. The nature of space and time is discussed, with arguments against backward causation and for the view that space and time can exist independently of matter or causal process. Many of Professor Fales's conclusions seem to run counter to received opinion among contemporary empiricists. Yet his method is classically empiricist in spirit, and a chief motive for these metaphysical explorations is epistemological. The final chapters investigate the perennial question of whether an empiricist, internalist and foundational epistemology can support scientific realism.

Causation and Universalsp. i
Overviewp. xi
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Causal Realismp. 1
Natural Necessityp. 3
An Ontological Analysis of Causationp. 47
Causation and Laws of Naturep. 76
Causation and Inductionp. 88
Causality and Timep. 122
Universalsp. 145
Nominalism Reconnoiteredp. 147
The Relation of Universals to Space and Timep. 171
The Nature of Universalsp. 193
Generic Universalsp. 226
Relationsp. 244
Epistemological Realismp. 255
Skepticism About the Existence of the Material Worldp. 257
Scientific Realismp. 287
Notesp. 314
Bibliographyp. 339
Indexp. 348
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415044387
ISBN-10: 0415044383
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 7th June 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.64
Edition Number: 1