Ideas from 'Nature's Metaphysics' by Alexander Bird [2007], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Nature's Metaphysics' by Bird,Alexander [OUP 2007,978-0-19-922701-3]].

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4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 7. Barcan Formula
The plausible Barcan formula implies modality in the actual world
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 7. Criterion for Existence
If all existents are causally active, that excludes abstracta and causally isolated objects
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / c. Significance of supervenience
If naturalism refers to supervenience, that leaves necessary entities untouched
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
There might be just one fundamental natural property
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Categorical properties are not modally fixed, but change across possible worlds
The categoricalist idea is that a property is only individuated by being itself
If we abstractly define a property, that doesn't mean some object could possess it
Categoricalists take properties to be quiddities, with no essential difference between them
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
To name an abundant property is either a Fregean concept, or a simple predicate
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
Only real powers are fundamental [Mumford/Anjum]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived
If all properties are potencies, and stimuli and manifestation characterise them, there is a regress
The essence of a potency involves relations, e.g. mass, to impressed force and acceleration
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / c. Dispositions as conditional
A robust pot attached to a sensitive bomb is not fragile, but if struck it will easily break
A disposition is finkish if a time delay might mean the manifestation fizzles out
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / d. Dispositions as occurrent
Megarian actualists deny unmanifested dispositions
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
Why should a universal's existence depend on instantiation in an existing particular?
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Resemblance itself needs explanation, presumably in terms of something held in common
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 3. Types of Necessity
If the laws necessarily imply p, that doesn't give a new 'nomological' necessity
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Logical necessitation is not a kind of necessity; George Orwell not being Eric Blair is not a real possibility
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Empiricist saw imaginability and possibility as close, but now they seem remote
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / d. Haecceitism
Haecceitism says identity is independent of qualities and without essence
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
We can't reject all explanations because of a regress; inexplicable A can still explain B
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 4. Naturalised causation
We should explain causation by powers, not powers by causation
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / b. Nomological causation
Singularism about causes is wrong, as the universals involved imply laws
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Laws are explanatory relationships of things, which supervene on their essences
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 2. Types of Laws
Laws are either disposition regularities, or relations between properties
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
Dispositional essentialism says laws (and laws about laws) are guaranteed regularities
That other diamonds are hard does not explain why this one is
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 5. Laws from Universals
Laws cannot offer unified explanations if they don't involve universals
If the universals for laws must be instantiated, a vanishing particular could destroy a law
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
Salt necessarily dissolves in water, because of the law which makes the existence of salt possible
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 9. Counterfactual Claims
Essentialism can't use conditionals to explain regularities, because of possible interventions
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 3. Space-Time
The relational view of space-time doesn't cover times and places where things could be