Going to Where the Action Is: The Philosophical Significance of the Principle of Least Action

This submission has open access
Submission Summary
A venerable narrative says that teleology died during the Scientific Revolution. McDonough (2020) recently objected that the principle of least action (PLA) shows teleology surviving into Enlightenment physics. Both narratives get the story wrong. The PLA’s history shows that what really happened is much more interesting. When a metaphysical principle became specifiable as a precise physical principle using increasingly sophisticated mathematics, it faced mathematical challenges to its viability, a new norm constraining metaphysics emerges and, far from surviving, teleology in physics is put to rest by novel means.
Submission ID :
PSA2022517
Submission Type

Similar Abstracts by Type

Submission ID
Submission Title
Submission Topic
Submission Type
Primary Author
PSA2022514
Philosophy of Biology - ecology
Contributed Papers
Dr. Katie Morrow
PSA2022405
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Contributed Papers
Vincenzo Crupi
PSA2022481
Confirmation and Evidence
Contributed Papers
Dr. Matthew Joss
PSA2022440
Confirmation and Evidence
Contributed Papers
Mr. Adrià Segarra
PSA2022410
Explanation
Contributed Papers
Ms. Haomiao Yu
PSA2022504
Formal Epistemology
Contributed Papers
Dr. Veronica Vieland
PSA2022450
Decision Theory
Contributed Papers
Ms. Xin Hui Yong
PSA2022402
Formal Epistemology
Contributed Papers
Peter Lewis
50 visits