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PowersA Study in Metaphysics$
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George Molnar and Stephen Mumford

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199204175

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199204175.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2021

Powers at Work

Powers at Work

(p.186) 12 Powers at Work

George Molnar

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines some of the work powers can do. It concentrates on two areas, causation and modality, and attempts to direct others to complete the theories of powers. It provides various definitions for ‘cause’ and ‘causation’ and cites the contested characteristics of causation. It explains why effects are polygenic and why manifestations are not, and it differentiates between single-track and multi-track powers. It also offers two kinds of conceptions of the laws of nature: transcendent and immanent. Under modality, the chapter examines the differences between reductionism and eliminativism and suggests truth is a form of modal primitivism. It also contends that necessity is central to science and common sense, so someone is sure to try and make a philosophical living out of inverting this obvious truth.

Keywords:   causation, modality, reductionism, eliminativism, primitivism

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