Causation and Laws of Nature: Reductionism
Schaffer (Jonathan)
Source: Sider (Ted), Hawthorne (John) & Zimmerman (Dean), Eds. - Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Causation and the laws of nature are nothing over and above the pattern of events, just like a movie is nothing over and above the sequence of frames. Or so I will argue. The position I will argue for is broadly inspired by Hume and Lewis, and may be expressed in the slogan: what must be, must be grounded in what is.
  2. Roadmap: In sections 1 and 2, I will clarify the reductionist thesis, and connect it to a general thesis about modal and occurrent entities. In section 3, I will argue halfway towards reductionism, by arguing that causation reduces to history plus the laws. In section 4, I will complete the case for reductionism, by arguing that the laws themselves reduce to history.

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