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Ideas of Harré,R./Madden,E.H., by Text

[British, fl. 1975, Associated with Oxford University.]

1975 Causal Powers
1.I.A p.1 Like disastrous small errors in navigation, small misunderstandings can wreck intellectual life
1.I.A p.2 Humeans see analysis in terms of formal logic, because necessities are fundamentally logical relations
1.I.A p.2 There is not an exclusive dichotomy between the formal and the logical
1.I.A p.3 Analysis of concepts based neither on formalism nor psychology can arise from examining what we know
1.I.A p.5 Causation always involves particular productive things
1.I.B p.6 Natural necessity is not logical necessity or empirical contingency in disguise
1.I.B p.7 Philosophy devises and assesses conceptual schemes in the service of worldviews
1.II.A p.10 Is conceptual necessity just conventional, or does it mirror something about nature?
1.II.B p.12 Efficient causes combine stimulus to individuals, absence of contraints on activity
1.II.C p.12 Scientists define copper almost entirely (bar atomic number) in terms of its dispositions
1.II.C p.13 To say something remains the same but lacks its capacities and powers seems a contradiction
1.II.C p.13 Essence explains passive capacities as well as active powers
1.II.C p.14 The relation between what a thing is and what it can do or undergo relate by natural necessity
1.II.C p.14 Some individuals can gain or lose capacities or powers, without losing their identity
1.III.B p.15 Necessary effects will follow from some general theory specifying powers and structure of a world
1.III.C p.16 A necessity corresponds to the nature of the actual
1.IV p.17 Science investigates the nature and constitution of things or substances
1.IV p.17 What properties a thing must have to be a type of substance can be laid down a priori
1.IV p.18 Necessity and contingency are separate from the a priori and the a posteriori
1.IV p.18 Logically, definitions have a subject, and a set of necessary predicates
1.V p.19 We say there is 'no alternative' in all sorts of contexts, and there are many different grounds for it
1.V.B p.19 Logical necessity is grounded in the logical form of a statement
1.V.B p.20 Transcendental necessity is conditions of a world required for a rational being to know its nature
1.V.B p.20 Natural necessity is when powerful particulars must produce certain results in a situation
1.V.B p.20 If natural necessity is used to include or exclude some predicate, the predicate is conceptually necessary
1.V.C p.21 There is a transcendental necessity for each logical necessity, but the transcendental extends further
1.VI p.22 There is a conceptual necessity when properties become a standard part of a nominal essence
2.I p.28 Positivism says science only refers to immediate experiences
2.II p.30 Originally Humeans based lawlike statements on pure qualities, without particulars
2.II p.32 Being lawlike seems to resist formal analysis, because there are always counter-examples
2.II p.33 We could call any generalisation a law, if it had reasonable support and no counter-evidence
2.II p.37 In lawful universal statements (unlike accidental ones) we see why the regularity holds
3.I p.45 Humeans say there is no necessity in causation, because denying an effect is never self-contradictory
3.I p.48 Having a child is contingent for a 'man', necessary for a 'father'; the latter reflects a necessity of nature
3.II p.51 We perceive motion, and not just successive occupations of different positions
3.II p.55 We experience qualities as of objects, not on their own
3.II p.56 It is silly to say that direct experience must be justified, either by reason, or by more experience
3.II p.57 Active causal power is just objects at work, not something existing in itself
3.II p.59 Inference in perception is unconvincingly defended as non-conscious and almost instantaneous
3.II p.66 If Goldbach's Conjecture is true (and logically necessary), we may be able to conceive its opposite
3.II p.66 If the concept of a cause includes its usual effects, we call it a 'power'
4.I p.71 Conjunctions explain nothing, and so do not give a reason for confidence in inductions
4.I p.71 If the nature of particulars explains their powers, it also explains their relations and behaviour
4.II p.75 Humeans cannot step in the same river twice, because they cannot strictly form the concept of 'river'
4.II p.76 The induction problem fades if you work with things, rather than with events
5.II p.85 Powers are not qualities; they just point to directions of empirical investigation
5.VI p.96 Chemical atoms have two powers: to enter certain combinations, and to emit a particular spectrum
5.VII p.98 Counterfactuals are just right for analysing statements about the powers which things have
6. Intro p.101 Humeans can only explain change with continuity as successive replacement
6.I p.101 In logic the nature of a kind, substance or individual is the essence which is inseparable from what it is
6.II p.103 Chemistry is not purely structural; CO2 is not the same as SO2
6.II p.104 The notorious substratum results from substance-with-qualities; individuals-with-powers solves this
6.III p.108 'Energy' is a quasi-substance invented as the bearer of change during interactions
6.III p.109 We say the essence of particles is energy, but only so we can tell a story about the nature of things
6.IV p.109 Humeans construct their objects from events, but we construct events from objects
6.IV p.109 Events are changes in states of affairs (which consist of structured particulars, with powers and relations)
6.IV p.110 Hume's atomic events makes properties independent, and leads to problems with induction
6.IV p.110 Humean impressions are too instantaneous and simple to have structure or relations
6.IV p.110 If things are successive instantaneous events, nothing requires those events to resemble one another
6.IV p.111 Points can be 'dense' by unending division, but must meet a tougher criterion to be 'continuous'
6.IV p.111 Points are 'continuous' if any 'cut' point participates in both halves of the cut
6.IV p.111 'Dense' time raises doubts about continuous objects, so they need 'continuous' time
6.IV p.111 The good criticism of substance by Humeans also loses them the vital concept of a thing
6.IV p.114 Humean accounts of causal direction by time fail, because cause and effect can occur together
6.IV p.114 The cause (or part of it) is what stimulates or releases the powerful particular thing involved
6.IV p.115 Energy was introduced to physics to refer to the 'store of potency' of a moving ball
6.IV p.116 'Kinetic energy' is used to explain the effects of moving things when they are stopped
6.V p.113 Some powers need a stimulus, but others are just released
7.3 p.128 Clavius's Paradox: purely syntactic entailment theories won't explain, because they are too profuse
7.I p.118 Humeans see predicates as independent, but science says they are connected
7.I p.120 Simplicity can sort theories out, but still leaves an infinity of possibilities
7.I p.123 Contraposition may be equivalent in truth, but not true in nature, because of irrelevant predicates
7.I p.124 The items put forward by the contraposition belong within different natural clusters
7.III p.129 The possibility that all ravens are black is a law depends on a mechanism producing the blackness
7.III p.129 People doubt science because if it isn't logically necessary it seems to be absolutely contingent
7.III p.130 Property or event relations are naturally necessary if generated by essential mechanisms
7.IV p.131 What reduces the field of the possible is a step towards necessity
7.V p.132 There is 'absolute' necessity (implied by all propositions) and 'relative' necessity (from what is given)
7.V p.134 If explanation is by entailment, that lacks a causal direction, unlike natural necessity
7.V p.134 We can base the idea of a natural kind on the mechanisms that produce natural necessity
7.V p.135 Powers can explain the direction of causality, and make it a natural necessity
7.VI p.138 Theism is supposed to make the world more intelligible - and should offer results
8.II p.143 A particular might change all of its characteristics, retaining mere numerical identity
8.III p.149 We can infer a new property of a thing from its other properties, via its essential nature
8.III p.149 We prefer the theory which explains and predicts the powers and capacities of particulars
8.IV p.150 Fundamental particulars can't change
8.IV p.150 Species do not have enough constancy to be natural kinds
8.V p.151 The very concepts of a particular power or nature imply the possibility of being generalised
8.VII p.154 We explain powers by the natures of things, but explanations end in inexplicable powers
8.VII p.155 Maybe a physical field qualifies as ultimate, if its nature is identical with its powers
8.VII p.155 We can escape substance and its properties, if we take fields of pure powers as ultimate
9.I p.162 Some powers are variable, others cannot change (without destroying an identity)
9.I p.163 Only changes require explanation
9.II.B p.172 Solidity comes from the power of repulsion, and shape from the power of attraction
9.II.B p.172 The assumption that shape and solidity are fundamental implies dubious 'substance' in bodies
9.III p.175 What is a field of potentials, if it only consists of possible events?
9.III p.177 Powers and natures lead us to hypothesise underlying mechanisms, which may be real
9.III p.177 The powers/natures approach has been so successful (for electricity, magnetism, gravity) it may be universal
9.III p.178 Gravitational and electrical fields are, for a materialist, distressingly empty of material
9.IV p.180 Hard individual blocks don't fix what 'things' are; fluids are no less material things
9.IV p.180 Magnetic and gravity fields can occupy the same place without merging
9.IV p.181 Space can't be an individual (in space), but it is present in all places