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A Case for Causal Republicanism?


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Price, H and Corry, R 2007 , 'A Case for Causal Republicanism?', in H Price and R Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics and The Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited , Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 1-10.

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In 1912, in the lull between Principia Mathematica and the Great War, Bertrand Russell turned a famously iconoclastic eye on the problem of causation:

All philosophers, of every school, imagine that causation is one of the fundamental axioms or postulates of science, yet, oddly enough, in advanced sciences such as gravitational astronomy, the word 'cause' never occurs ... The law of causality, I believe, like much that passes muster among philosophers, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm. (Russell 1913)

Ninety years later, both targets seem to have survived Russell's attack. The monarchy in question remains firmly in place (Russell having proved one of the lesser trials of a troubled century). And causation still cuts the mustard in philosophy, apparently, despite further threats from new revolutions in physics.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Price, H and Corry, R
Publisher: Clarendon Press
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© Huw Price and Richard Corry 2007

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