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University of South Florida

Philosophy of Science

Naturalism

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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 ...