Jeremy Butterfield

Learn More
This is one of two papers about emergence, reduction and supervenience. It expounds these notions and analyses the general relations between them. The companion paper analyses the situation in physics, especially limiting relations between physical theories. I shall take emergence as behaviour that is novel and robust relative to some comparison class. I(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)
1. Introduction In this paper, I shall sketch some of the issues that arise in the interpretation of quantum theory, from the perspective of a philosopher of physics. I will emphasise the measurement problem: for it is widely agreed to be the theory's main interpretative problem (and to equally confront advanced quantum theories, like quantum field theory).(More)
First, I briefly review the different conceptions of time held by three rival interpretations of quantum theory: the collapse of the wave-packet, the pilotwave interpretation, and the Everett interpretation (Section 2). Then I turn to a much less controversial task: to expound the recent understanding of the time-energy uncertainty principle, and indeed of(More)
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)
CARTESIAN SKEPTICISM AND INFERENCE TO THE BEST EXPLANATION* T he problem of skepticism about the external world, or Cartesian 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(More)
Although the expression ̳metaphysical necessity‘ is a technical term of analytic philosophy, I think that non-philosophers usually either have an inchoate, implicit grasp of the concept expressed by it, or can at least very easily be gotten to cotton on when the concept is explained to them, even if they are not given an explicit definition. When presenting(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)