Ideas of J Ladyman / D Ross, by Theme

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

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
There is no test for metaphysics, except devising alternative theories
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 4. Metaphysics as Science
Metaphysics builds consilience networks across science
Progress in metaphysics must be tied to progress in science
Metaphysics must involve at least two scientific hypotheses, one fundamental, and add to explanation
Some science is so general that it is metaphysical
Cutting-edge physics has little to offer metaphysics
The aim of metaphysics is to unite the special sciences with physics
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 6. Metaphysics as Conceptual
Modern metaphysics pursues aesthetic criteria like story-writing, and abandons scientific truth
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Conceptual Analysis
Why think that conceptual analysis reveals reality, rather than just how people think?
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
We should abandon intuitions, especially that the world is made of little things, and made of something
A metaphysics based on quantum gravity could result in almost anything
The supremacy of science rests on its iterated error filters
5. Theory of Logic / C. Ontology of Logic / 1. Ontology of Logic
Maybe mathematical logic rests on information-processing
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
Only admit into ontology what is explanatory and predictive
To be is to be a real pattern
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
Any process can be described as transfer of measurable information
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / a. Fundamental reality
We say there is no fundamental level to ontology, and reality is just patterns
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 7. Abstract/Concrete / a. Abstract/concrete
If concrete is spatio-temporal and causal, and abstract isn't, the distinction doesn't suit physics
Concrete and abstract are too crude for modern physics
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 6. Physicalism
Physicalism is 'part-whole' (all parts are physical), or 'supervenience/levels' (dependence on physical)
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
Relations without relata must be treated as universals, with their own formal properties
A belief in relations must be a belief in things that are related
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 2. Internal Relations
The normal assumption is that relations depend on properties of the relata
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 3. Structural Relations
That there are existent structures not made of entities is no stranger than the theory of universals
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties
Causal essentialism says properties are nothing but causal relations
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / e. Dispositions as potential
If science captures the modal structure of things, that explains why its predictions work
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
Things are constructs for tracking patterns (and not linguistic, because animals do it)
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
Maybe individuation can be explained by thermodynamic depth
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
There are no cats in quantum theory, and no mountains in astrophysics
Physics seems to imply that we must give up self-subsistent individuals
There is no single view of individuals, because different sciences operate on different scales
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / c. Unity as conceptual
Things are abstractions from structures
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
The idea of composition, that parts of the world are 'made of' something, is no longer helpful
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
A sum of things is not a whole if the whole does not support some new generalisation
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 13. Nominal Essence
We treat the core of a pattern as an essence, in order to keep track of it
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
A continuous object might be a type, with instances at each time
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 6. Probability
In quantum statistics, two separate classical states of affairs are treated as one
Quantum mechanics seems to imply single-case probabilities
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 2. Associationism
Rats find some obvious associations easier to learn than less obvious ones
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
The doctrine of empiricism does not itself seem to be empirically justified
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 2. Intuition
There is no reason to think our intuitions are good for science or metaphysics
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 4. Prediction
What matters is whether a theory can predict - not whether it actually does so
The theory of evolution was accepted because it explained, not because of its predictions
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 8. Ramsey Sentences
The Ramsey-sentence approach preserves observations, but eliminates unobservables
The Ramsey sentence describes theoretical entities; it skips reference, but doesn't eliminate it
14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
Induction is reasoning from the observed to the unobserved
14. Science / C. Induction / 4. Reason in Induction
Inductive defences of induction may be rule-circular, but not viciously premise-circular
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / c. Explanations by coherence
We explain by deriving the properties of a phenomenon by embedding it in a large abstract theory
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 4. Objectification
Maybe the only way we can think about a domain is by dividing it up into objects
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 6. Determinism / a. Determinism
Two versions of quantum theory say that the world is deterministic
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 4. Emergentism
Science is opposed to downward causation
26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 3. Knowing Kinds
Explanation by kinds and by clusters of properties just express the stability of reality
26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 4. Source of Kinds
There is nothing more to a natural kind than a real pattern in nature
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 7. Eliminating causation
Causation is found in the special sciences, but may have no role in fundamental physics
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Science may have uninstantiated laws, inferred from approaching some unrealised limit
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / a. Concept of matter
That the universe must be 'made of' something is just obsolete physics
In physics, matter is an emergent phenomenon, not part of fundamental ontology
27. Natural Reality / C. Space / 6. Space-Time
Spacetime may well be emergent, rather than basic
If spacetime is substantial, what is the substance?
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / h. Presentism
A fixed foliation theory of quantum gravity could make presentism possible