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Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation

Reutlinger, Alexander (2014) Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In their Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross defend a novel version of Neo-Russellian metaphysics of causation, which falls into three claims: (1) there are no fundamental physical causal facts (orthodox Russellian claim), (2) there are higher-level causal facts of the special sciences, and (3) higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent. While accepting claims (1) and (2), I attack claim (3). Ladyman and Ross argue that higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent, because (a) certain aspects of these higher-level facts (their universality) can be captured by renormalization group (RG) explanations, and (b) RG explanations are not reductive explanations. However, I argue that RG explanation should be understood as reductive explanations. This result undermines Ladyman and Ross’s RG-based argument for the explanatory emergence of higher-level causal facts.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Reutlinger, AlexanderAlexander.Reutlinger@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Additional Information: to appear in Synthese
Keywords: Emergence Causation Structural Realism Renormalization Group Explanation Special Sciences Russell
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Alexander Reutlinger
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2014 12:53
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2014 12:53
Item ID: 10897
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 2014
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10897

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