Scientific Essentialism

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 9, 2001 - Philosophy - 309 pages
Scientific Essentialism defends the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on the essential properties of the things on which they are said to operate, and are therefore not independent of them. These laws are not imposed upon the world by God, the forces of nature, or anything else, but rather are immanent in the world. Ellis argues that ours is a dynamic world consisting of more or less transient objects which are constantly interacting with each other, and whose identities depend on their roles in these processes. The laws of nature are metaphysically necessary, and consequently, there are necessary connections between events.
 

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Contents

Preface Pge
1
Natural Kinds
61
Powers and Dispositions
106
Part Three Scientific Explanation
145
Essentialism in the Social Sciences
177
Theories of Laws of Nature
203
Natural Necessity
229
Part Five The New Essentialism
261
Bibliography
295
Index
303
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