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Synthese

, Volume 194, Issue 7, pp 2255–2271 | Cite as

Structuralism with and without causation

  • Juha Saatsi
Article

Abstract

This paper explores the status of causation in structuralist metaphysics of physics. What role (if any) does causation play in understanding ‘structure’ in ontological structural realism? I address this question by examining, in a structuralist setting, arguments for and against the idea that fundamental physics deals, perhaps exclusively, with causal properties. I will argue (against Esfeld, Dorato and others) that a structuralist interpretation of fundamental physics should diverge from ‘causal structuralism’. Nevertheless, causation outside fundamental physics, and the basic motivation for causal structuralism outside fundamental physics, can be captured with an appropriate conception of causation.

Keywords

Structuralism Causation Metaphysics of physics Esfeld 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Earlier versions of this paper were presented at University of Leeds and University of Cologne. I would like to thank audiences at these talks. Special thanks to Michael Esfeld, Steven French, Andreas Hüttemann, and Jakob Sprickerhof. I would also like to acknowledge that this paper was partly written during my visiting Fellowship at Durham Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PRHSUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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