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University of South Florida

Philosophy of Science

Metaphysics

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Thinking Nature, "Pierre Maupertuis And The Charge Of Error Against Fermat And Leibniz", Richard Samuel Lamborn Nov 2015

Thinking Nature, "Pierre Maupertuis And The Charge Of Error Against Fermat And Leibniz", Richard Samuel Lamborn

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to defend Pierre Fermat and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz against the charge of error made against them by Pierre Maupertuis that they errantly applied final causes to physics. This charge came in Maupertuis’ 1744 speech to the Paris Academy of Sciences, later published in different versions, entitled Accord Between Different Laws Which at First Seemed Incompatible. It is in this speech that Maupertuis lays claim to one of the most important discoveries in the history of physics and science, The Principle of Least Action. From the date of this speech up until the end of ...


A Natural Case For Realism: Processes, Structures, And Laws, Andrew Michael Winters Mar 2015

A Natural Case For Realism: Processes, Structures, And Laws, Andrew Michael Winters

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Recent literature concerning laws of nature highlight the close relationship between general metaphysics and philosophy of science. In particular, a person's theoretical commitments in either have direct implications for her stance on laws. In this dissertation, I argue that an ontic structural realist should be a realist about laws, but only within a non-Whiteheadean process framework. Without the adoption of a process framework, any account of laws the ontic structural realist offers will require metaphysical commitments that are at odds with ontic structural realism. In arguing towards this aim, I adopt an attenuated methodological naturalistic stance to show that ...