Causation in Science

november 23rd, 2011  |  Published in Nyheter  |  12 Comments

Torsdag 1. desember kl. 19.00 til 22.00, Tivoli, Det Akademiske Kvarter

Stephen Mumford, professor of metaphysics in NottinghamIs the complexity of our world ignored in existing theories of causality? Many philosophers have been attracted to a reductive view of nature in which everything is to be explained ultimately in terms of sub-atomic particles. Is there any evidence for the success of reductionism in the sciences or is the view a mere philosophers’ fancy?

Conventional ways of viewing causation is that a cause, if present, will guarantee a specific effect. Contextual factors are often defined away, and the focus is directed towards finding necessary causal connections under idealized conditions.

The Causation in Science project, located at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), aims to test a dispositional theory of causation against prevalent views within the sciences. The theory is based on an ontology of causal powers in which causes are viewed as dispositions or tendencies, rather than the necessary antecedent of an effect. This way of viewing causation can take causal complexity, counteractions and sensitivity to context into account when explaining causal relations.

Rani Lill Anjum er filosof ved UMBHybris has invited Stephen Mumford, professor in philosophy from Nottingham University, and Rani Lill Anjum, research fellow at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, to this evening dedicated to the discussion of causation in the sciences.

Mumford will give an introduction to the dispositional ontology and explain how it can offer an alternative conception of nature. Anjum will show how this provides us with a better metaphysical foundation for dealing with natural causal processes, such as in biology.



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