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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 15, Issue 1, Enero 2000

Phil Dowe
Pages 11-31

The Conserved Quantity Theory Defended

I defend the conserved quantity theory of causation against two objections: firstly, that to tie the notion of “cause” to conservation laws is impossible, circular or metaphysically counterintuitive; and secondly, that the conserved quantity theory entails an undesired notion of identity through time. My defence makes use of an important meta-philosophical distinction between empirical analysis and conceptual analysis. My claim is that the conserved quantity theory of causation must be understood primarily as an empirical, not a conceptual, analysis of causation.

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