Thursday, April 10, 2014

SPR 2014 Lecture Series (No.4): On scientific essentialism

About the theme

Scientific essentialism is the view, advocated and defended by Brian Ellis, Alexander Bird, and many others, which claims that laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. On this view, there is no genuine metaphysical possibility that a law of nature could fail. In this talk, I shall examine two main arguments for this necessitarian view: (i) the argument from dispositions and (ii) the argument from anti-quidditism. I shall show that neither of these arguments is successful. This leaves the traditional view (i.e., the view that laws are physical or nomic necessities weaker than metaphysical necessities) a more plausible option. 

About the speaker

Prof. Deng, Duen-Min, is an assistant professor of Philosophy at National Taiwan University whose research interests are in logic and in metaphysics such as causality, universal, and essence.

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