Chapter

Connections

Theodore Sider

in Writing the Book of the World

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697908
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732096 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697908.003.0003
Connections

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A crucial part of the theory of structure is an account of the connections between structure and other concepts. Structure can be used to constrain the concept of a law of nature and the concept of explanation: laws and explanations must both be cast in joint‐carving terms. Structure can be used to constrain the concept of reference: a good theory of reference must assign reasonably joint‐carving meanings. (This is Lewis’s theory of “reference magnetism”, viewed in Robbie Williams’s way.) Structure can be used in Bayesian epistemology, to constrain reasonable prior probability distributions. And structure helps us understand what it means to say that spacetime has an intrinsic geometry.

Keywords: laws; explanation; reference; reference magnetism; bayesianism; induction; confirmation; geometry; spacetime

Chapter.  10845 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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