PhilSci Archive

Some Consequences of Physics for the Comparative Metaphysics of Quantity

Baker, David John (2014) Some Consequences of Physics for the Comparative Metaphysics of Quantity. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
ComparativeMetaphysicsofQR.pdf

Download (414kB) | Preview

Abstract

According to comparativist theories of quantities, their intrinsic values are not fundamental. Instead, all the quantity facts are grounded in scale-independent relations like "twice as massive as" or "more massive than." I show that this sort of scale independence is best understood as a sort of metaphysical symmetry--a principle about which transformations of the non-fundamental ontology leave the fundamental ontology unchanged. Determinism--a core scientific concept easily formulated in absolutist terms--is more difficult for the comparativist to define. After settling on the most plausible comparativist understanding of determinism, I offer some examples of physical systems that the comparativist must count as indeterministic although the relevant physical theory gives deterministic predictions. Several morals are drawn. In particular: comparativism is metaphysically contingent if true, and it is most natural for a comparativist to accept an at-at theory of motion.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Baker, David Johndjbaker@umich.edu
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: David Baker
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 14:51
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 14:51
Item ID: 12674
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12674

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item