Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kristie Miller, presenting paper at University of Wollongong

Kristie Miller (USyd) will be presenting at the University of Wollongong Philosophy Research Seminar series next Tuesday. All are welcome to attend.

Title: "Motion, laws and plenitude: Are there objects to which the laws of nature do not apply?"

When & where: April 20th, 5:30pm in room 19.1003

Abstract: It is a natural to assume that the domain of the concrete objects is coextensive with the domain of the objects to which the natural laws apply, and therefore that if we can find any concrete object that is at rest and does not stay at rest unless acted on by a net force, then we have found something that violates the law of inertia. Recently, however, this assumption has been challenged. The locus of this challenge has come from a number of metaphysicians who sign up for what I will call a plenitudinous ontology. Given a plenitudinous ontology, a great number of entities seem to be ones that violate one or other law of nature.Friends of plenitude have responded by conceding that the entities in question do violate the laws in question, and suggesting that the correct response is to distinguish two different kinds of concrete entity: the ones to which the laws apply, and the ones to which they do not. In this paper I advocate an alternative strategy according to which when the laws are properly understood, no concrete entity in the plenitudinous ontology ever violates those laws.

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