Ideas from 'The Metaphysics of Scientific Realism' by Brian Ellis [2009], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Metaphysics of Scientific Realism' by Ellis,Brian [Acument 2009,1-902683-62-5]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Metaphysics aims at the simplest explanation, without regard to testability
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 1. Overview of Logic
We can base logic on acceptability, and abandon the Fregean account by truth-preservation
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 1. Foundations for Mathematics
Mathematics is the formal study of the categorical dimensions of things
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
Objects and substances are a subcategory of the natural kinds of processes
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / c. Reduction of events
A physical event is any change of distribution of energy
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties
Physical properties are those relevant to how a physical system might act
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Essentialism needs categorical properties (spatiotemporal and numerical relations) and dispositions
Spatial, temporal and numerical relations have causal roles, without being causal
I support categorical properties, although most people only want causal powers
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 11. Properties as Sets
Properties and relations are discovered, so they can't be mere sets of individuals
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
Causal powers can't rest on things which lack causal power
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / b. Dispositions and powers
Causal powers are a proper subset of the dispositional properties
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 1. Structure of an Object
Categorical properties depend only on the structures they represent
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
A real essence is a kind's distinctive properties
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
Metaphysical necessity holds between things in the world and things they make true
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 1. Sources of Necessity
Metaphysical necessities are those depending on the essential nature of things
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 2. Aim of Science
Science aims to explain things, not just describe them
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / f. Presentism
The present is the collapse of the light wavefront from the Big Bang
Simultaneity can be temporal equidistance from the Big Bang
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / b. Defining kinds
There are natural kinds of processes
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / d. Source of kinds
Natural kind structures go right down to the bottom level
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Laws of nature are just descriptions of how things are disposed to behave
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 3. Force
I deny forces as entities that intervene in causation, but are not themselves causal
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 4. Energy
Energy is the key multi-valued property, vital to scientific realism