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Project description

Explanations in various disciplines tend to refer directly or indirectly to causes, laws and dispositions. The explanatory practice thus gives rise to the question of how these issues are related. We will understand these questions at least partly as metaphysical questions. The project is thus part of what has been recently dubbed ‘Metaphysics of Science’. However, the project is more inclusive insofar as it comprises disciplines that do not fall under the concept of ‘science’.

Methodologically the project is characterised by the attempt to confront general metaphysical theories of causation, laws and dispositions with what is in fact going on in the various special disciplines. Firstly, we take it to be an adequacy condition that general metaphysical accounts of the concepts in question should be able to cope with the explanatory practices of various disciplines. Secondly, we hold that the philosophical theories developed for the special disciplines should reflect more on the various theoretical options on the more the general level.

While most projects within metaphysics of science have focused on the physical sciences we try to develop accounts of causation, laws, dispositions and explanation that take into account the explanatory practices in medicine, in the historical sciences and in law.

hosted by:      Philosophisches Seminar der Universität zu Köln

funded by:      Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft