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Ideas of J Ladyman / D Ross, by Text

[British, fl. 2007, Professors at Bristol, and Alabama, Birmingham.]

2007 Every Thing Must Go
1.1 p.2 There is no reason to think our intuitions are good for science or metaphysics
1.1 p.4 The idea of composition, that parts of the world are 'made of' something, is no longer helpful
1.2.1 p.12 We should abandon intuitions, especially that the world is made of little things, and made of something
1.2.1 p.13 Modern metaphysics pursues aesthetic criteria like story-writing, and abandons scientific truth
1.2.2 p.16 Why think that conceptual analysis reveals reality, rather than just how people think?
1.2.3 p.20 In physics, matter is an emergent phenomenon, not part of fundamental ontology
1.2.3 p.23 Spacetime may well be emergent, rather than basic
1.2.3 p.24 Science may have uninstantiated laws, inferred from approaching some unrealised limit
1.2.3 p.25 Quantum mechanics seems to imply single-case probabilities
1.3 p.28 Metaphysics builds consilience networks across science
1.3 p.29 The supremacy of science rests on its iterated error filters
1.3 p.35 Progress in metaphysics must be tied to progress in science
1.3 p.37 Metaphysics must involve at least two scientific hypotheses, one fundamental, and add to explanation
1.3 p.41 Physicalism is 'part-whole' (all parts are physical), or 'supervenience/levels' (dependence on physical)
1.5 n45 p.45 Some science is so general that it is metaphysical
1.6 n54 p.57 Science is opposed to downward causation
1.7 p.58 There is no test for metaphysics, except devising alternative theories
2.1.1 p.71 We explain by deriving the properties of a phenomenon by embedding it in a large abstract theory
2.1.2 p.75 Inductive defences of induction may be rule-circular, but not viciously premise-circular
2.1.3 p.78 The theory of evolution was accepted because it explained, not because of its predictions
2.1.3 p.79 What matters is whether a theory can predict - not whether it actually does so
2.3.1 p.98 The doctrine of empiricism does not itself seem to be empirically justified
2.4 p.123 If science captures the modal structure of things, that explains why its predictions work
2.4.1 p.125 The Ramsey-sentence approach preserves observations, but eliminates unobservables
2.4.1 p.126 The Ramsey sentence describes theoretical entities; it skips reference, but doesn't eliminate it
3.1 p.133 In quantum statistics, two separate classical states of affairs are treated as one
3.2 p.142 If spacetime is substantial, what is the substance?
3.4 p.148 The normal assumption is that relations depend on properties of the relata
3.4 p.152 Relations without relata must be treated as universals, with their own formal properties
3.4 p.153 Physics seems to imply that we must give up self-subsistent individuals
3.4 p.153 Things are abstractions from structures
3.5 p.154 A belief in relations must be a belief in things that are related
3.5 p.155 That there are existent structures not made of entities is no stranger than the theory of universals
3.5 p.155 Maybe the only way we can think about a domain is by dividing it up into objects
3.5 n50 p.156 Causal essentialism says properties are nothing but causal relations
3.6 p.160 If concrete is spatio-temporal and causal, and abstract isn't, the distinction doesn't suit physics
3.6 p.160 Concrete and abstract are too crude for modern physics
3.7.2 p.171 A metaphysics based on quantum gravity could result in almost anything
3.7.2 p.172 That the universe must be 'made of' something is just obsolete physics
3.7.2 p.173 Two versions of quantum theory say that the world is deterministic
3.7.2 p.174 Cutting-edge physics has little to offer metaphysics
3.7.2 n75 p.173 A fixed foliation theory of quantum gravity could make presentism possible
3.7.3 p.178 We say there is no fundamental level to ontology, and reality is just patterns
3.7.3 p.179 Only admit into ontology what is explanatory and predictive
3.7.5 p.183 Maybe mathematical logic rests on information-processing
3.8 p.189 There is no single view of individuals, because different sciences operate on different scales
4.1 p.194 The aim of metaphysics is to unite the special sciences with physics
4.2 p.199 There are no cats in quantum theory, and no mountains in astrophysics
4.3 p.210 Any process can be described as transfer of measurable information
4.4 p.226 To be is to be a real pattern
4.4 p.231 A sum of things is not a whole if the whole does not support some new generalisation
4.5 p.240 Maybe individuation can be explained by thermodynamic depth
4.5 p.241 We treat the core of a pattern as an essence, in order to keep track of it
4.5 p.242 Things are constructs for tracking patterns (and not linguistic, because animals do it)
4.5 p.255 Induction is reasoning from the observed to the unobserved
4.5 p.257 Causation is found in the special sciences, but may have no role in fundamental physics
5.2 p.267 Rats find some obvious associations easier to learn than less obvious ones
5.6 p.292 Explanation by kinds and by clusters of properties just express the stability of reality
5.6 p.294 There is nothing more to a natural kind than a real pattern in nature
5.6 p.296 A continuous object might be a type, with instances at each time