[SydPhil] Current Projects: Causation and apparent Teleology

Kristie Miller kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Tue May 21 12:07:05 AEST 2013

Next Monday's Current Project paper will be Yemima Ben-Menahem talking about " Causation and (apparent) Teleology"

This paper examines the following causal notions and their inter-relations: determinism, necessity, contingency and stability. The first part of the paper focusses on examples from daily discourse and the philosophy of history; the second, on scientific contexts. It makes the following points:
1.It uncovers the common structure, the icon, so to speak, of cases in which we are tempted to think in teleological terms.
2.It suggests a sense of 'making a difference' (to the course of events, say) that is independent of determinism.
3.It addresses the question of whether there are traces of teleology in contemporary physics, manifest, for example, in the principle of least action.
4.It answers that question in the negative, but it argues that (quite surprisingly) it is only on the basis of Quantum Mechanics (and the above analysis) that this negative answer can indeed be justified.

As usual we are in the philosophy common room at 1,00.

See you all there.

Dr. Kristie Miller
University of Sydney 
Senior Research Fellow
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and
The Centre for Time
The University of Sydney
Sydney Australia
Room 407, A 14

kmiller at usyd.edu.au
kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Ph: +612 9036 9663

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