Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Abstraction: Subsumption of objects by non-consideration of certain properties. See also equivalence relation, concretion, concreta, indiscernibility.
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I 380
Abstractions/Figures/Armstrong/Bigelow/Pargetter: Numbers are causally inactive.
Mathematics/Realism/Bigelow/Pargetter: some mathematical entities are even observable.
I 381
Causation/Mathematics/BigelowVsArmstrong/Bigelow/Pargetter: in fact, people are not causes, but they are involved in causal processes.
Numbers: they are also involved in causal processes. If objects did not instantiate the quantities they instanced, other changes would have occurred. Thus at least proportions are causally involved. ((s) FieldVsNumbers as causal agents, but not Vs proportions).
I 382
Contrafactual dependence/Bigelow/Pargetter: one can again set up consequences of contrafactual conditions, e.g. For the lever laws of Archimedes. This also provides why-explanations.
I 383
Numbers/causality/Bigelow/Pargetter: this shows that numbers play a fundamental role in causal explanations.
BigelowVsField: (a propos Field, Science without numbers): he falsely assumes that physics first starts with pure empiricism, in order to convert the results into completely abstract mathematics.
Field/Bigelow/Pargetter: wants to avoid this detour.
BigelowVsField: his project is superfluous when we realize that mathematics is only a different description of the physical proportions and relations and no detour.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-26