Ideas of Tim Maudlin, by Theme

[American, fl. 2003, Professor at Rutgers University.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysics as Science
The metaphysics of nature should focus on physics
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 5. Metaphysics as Conceptual
Kant survives in metaphysics as analysing our conceptual system, which is a priori
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 6. Against Metaphysics
Wide metaphysical possibility may reduce metaphysics to analysis of fantasies
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
If the universe is profligate, the Razor leads us astray
The Razor rightly prefers one cause of multiple events to coincidences of causes
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / d. Humean supervenience
The Humean view is wrong; laws and direction of time are primitive, and atoms are decided by physics
Lewis says it supervenes on the Mosaic, but actually thinks the Mosaic is all there is
If the Humean Mosaic is ontological bedrock, there can be no explanation of its structure
The 'spinning disc' is just impossible, because there cannot be 'homogeneous matter'
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / d. Commitment of theories
To get an ontology from ontological commitment, just add that some theory is actually true
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
Na´ve translation from natural to formal language can hide or multiply the ontology
If commitment rests on first-order logic, we obviously lose the ontology concerning predication
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties
A property is fundamental if two objects can differ in only that respect
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties
Fundamental physics seems to suggest there are no such things as properties
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Existence of universals may just be decided by acceptance, or not, of second-order logic
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
Logically impossible is metaphysically impossible, but logically possible is not metaphysically possible
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
A counterfactual antecedent commands the redescription of a selected moment
14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
Induction leaps into the unknown, but usually lands safely
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Lawlike explanations
Laws should help explain the things they govern, or that manifest them
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / a. Time
If time passes, presumably it passes at one second per second
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / b. Tensed (A) time
I believe the passing of time is a fundamental fact about the world
There is one ordered B series, but an infinitude of A series, depending on when the present is
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
Evaluating counterfactuals involves context and interests
We don't pick a similar world from many - we construct one possibility from the description
If we know the cause of an event, we seem to assent to the counterfactual
The counterfactual is ruined if some other cause steps in when the antecedent fails
If the effect hadn't occurred the cause wouldn't have happened, so counterfactuals are two-way
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Laws are primitive, so two indiscernible worlds could have the same laws
Fundamental laws say how nature will, or might, evolve from some initial state
Laws of nature are ontological bedrock, and beyond analysis
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
'Humans with prime house numbers are mortal' is not a law, because not a natural kind
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / b. Best system theory
If laws are just regularities, then there have to be laws