Jeremy Butterfield

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This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme. That is the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are(More)
Recently research on imitation and its role in social cognition has been flourishing across various disciplines. After briefly reviewing these developments under the headings of behavior, subpersonal mechanisms, and functions of imitation, I advance the shared circuits hypothesis. This hypothesis about subpersonal functional architecture describes a unified(More)
The twentieth century saw two fundamental revolutions in physics-relativity and quantum. Daily use of these theories can numb the sense of wonder at their immense empirical success. Does their instrumental effectiveness stand on the rock of secure concepts or the sand of unresolved fundamentals? Does measuring a quantum system probe, or even create, reality(More)
T he problem of skepticism about the external world, or Car-tesian skepticism, has its roots in the underdetermination of theory by evidence. We each adopt a body of common-sense beliefs about the world which answers to our sensory experience. In principle, however, the beliefs we base on that experience are subject to underdetermination, and we can devise(More)
Using the Hilbert–Bernays account as a springboard , we first define four ways in which two objects can be discerned from one another, using the non-logical vocabulary of the language concerned. (These definitions are based on definitions made by Quine and Saunders.) Because of our use of the Hilbert-Bernays account, these definitions are in terms of the(More)
I have two main aims. The first is general, and more philosophical (§2). The second is specific, and more closely related to physics (§§3 and 4). The first aim is to state my general views about laws and causation at different 'levels'. The main task is to understand how the higher levels sustain notions of law and causation that 'ride free' of reductions(More)
Some recent philosophical debate about persistence has focussed on an argument against perdurantism that discusses rotating perfectly homogeneous discs (the 'rotating discs argument'; RDA). The argument has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though it appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA(More)