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Mass additivity and a priori entailment

McQueen, Kelvin

Description

The principle of mass additivity states that the mass of a composite object is the sum of the masses of its elementary components. Mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics but false in special relativity. Physicists have explained why mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics by reducing it to Newton’s microphysical laws. This reductive explanation does not fit well with deducibility theories of reductive explanation such as the modern Nagelian theory of reduction, and the a priori...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMcQueen, Kelvin
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T22:48:15Z
dc.identifier.issn0039-7857
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/38257
dc.description.abstractThe principle of mass additivity states that the mass of a composite object is the sum of the masses of its elementary components. Mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics but false in special relativity. Physicists have explained why mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics by reducing it to Newton’s microphysical laws. This reductive explanation does not fit well with deducibility theories of reductive explanation such as the modern Nagelian theory of reduction, and the a priori entailment theory of reduction that is prominent in the philosophy of mind. Nonetheless, I argue that a reconstruction of the explanation that incorporates distinctively philosophical concepts in fact fits both theories. I discuss the implications of this result for both theories and for the reductive explanation of consciousness.
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
dc.sourceSynthese
dc.titleMass additivity and a priori entailment
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume192
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor220319 - Social Philosophy
local.identifier.ariespublicationu5234012xPUB159
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMcQueen, Kelvin, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue5
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1373
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage1392
local.identifier.doi10.1007/s11229-014-0627-7
local.identifier.absseo970122 - Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
dc.date.updated2015-12-08T11:04:26Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84929207818
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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