•  897
    Are psychiatric kinds real?
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1): 11-27. 2010.
    The paper considers whether psychiatric kinds can be natural kinds and concludes that they can. This depends, however, on a particular conception of ‘natural kind’. We briefly describe and reject two standard accounts – what we call the ‘stipulative account’ (according to which apparently a priori criteria, such as the possession of intrinsic essences, are laid down for natural kindhood) and the ‘Kripkean account’ (according to which the natural kinds are just those kinds that obey Kripkean sema…Read more
  •  578
    Does Anything Hold the Universe Together?
    Synthese 149 (3): 509-533. 2006.
    According to ‘regularity theories’ of causation, the obtaining of causal relations depends on no more than the obtaining of certain kinds of regularity. Regularity theorists are thus anti-realists about necessary connections in nature. Regularity theories of one form or another have constituted the dominant view in analytic Philosophy for a long time, but have recently come in for some robust criticism, notably from Galen Strawson. Strawson’s criticisms are natural criticisms to make, but have n…Read more
  •  539
    Causing and Nothingness
    In L. A. Paul, E. J. Hall & J. Collins (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals, Mit Press. pp. 291--308. 2004.
  •  492
    Humean compatibilism
    with Alfred Mele
    Mind 111 (442): 201-223. 2002.
    Humean compatibilism is the combination of a Humean position on laws of nature and the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism. This article's aim is to situate Humean compatibilism in the current debate among libertarians, traditional compatibilists, and semicompatibilists about free will. We argue that a Humean about laws can hold that there is a sense in which the laws of nature are 'up to us' and hence that the leading style of argument for incompatibilism?the consequence argume…Read more
  •  445
    The Non-Governing Conception of Laws of Nature
    Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (3): 571-594. 2000.
    Recently several thought experiments have been developed which have been alleged to refute the Ramsey-Lewis view of laws of nature. The paper aims to show that two such thought experiments fail to establish that the Ramsey-Lewis view is false, since they presuppose a conception of laws of nature that is radically at odds with the Humean conception of laws embodied by the Ramsey-Lewis view. In particular, the thought experiments presuppose that laws of nature govern the behavior of objects. The p…Read more
  •  441
    Hume’s Two Definitions
    Hume Studies 37 (2): 243-274. 2011.
    Hume's two definitions of causation have caused an extraordinary amount of controversy. The starting point for the controversy is the fact, well known to most philosophy undergraduates, that the two definitions aren't even extensionally equivalent, let alone semantically equivalent. So how can they both be definitions? One response to this problem has been to argue that Hume intends only the first as a genuine definition—an interpretation that delivers a straightforward regularity interpretation…Read more
  •  375
  •  320
    Hume on Causation
    Routledge. 2006.
    Hume is traditionally credited with inventing the ‘regularity theory’ of causation, according to which the causal relation between two events consists merely in the fact that events of the first kind are always followed by events of the second kind. Hume is also traditionally credited with two other, hugely influential positions: the view that the world appears to us as a world of unconnected events, and inductive scepticism: the view that the ‘problem of induction’, the problem of providing a j…Read more
  •  305
    Seeing causing
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3): 257-280. 2003.
    Singularists about causation often claim that we can have experiences as of causation. This paper argues that regularity theorists need not deny that claim; hence the possibility of causal experience is no objection to regularity theories of causation. The fact that, according to a regularity theorist, causal experience requires background theory does not provide grounds for denying that it is genuine experience. The regularity theorist need not even deny that non-inferential perceptual knowledg…Read more
  •  257
  •  248
    Necessary Connections and the Problem of Induction
    Noûs 45 (3): 504-527. 2011.
    In this paper Beebee argues that the problem of induction, which she describes as a genuine sceptical problem, is the same for Humeans than for Necessitarians. Neither scientific essentialists nor Armstrong can solve the problem of induction by appealing to IBE, for both arguments take an illicit inductive step.
  •  237
    The Two Definitions and the Doctrine of Necessity
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3): 413-431. 2007.
  •  212
    Reply to Huemer on the consequence argument
    Philosophical Review 111 (2): 235-241. 2002.
    In a recent paper, Michael Huemer provides a new interpretation for ‘N’, the operator that occurs in Peter van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument, and argues that, given that interpretation, the Consequence Argument is sound. I have no quarrel with Huemer’s claim that the Consequence Argument is valid. I shall argue instead that his defense of its premises—a defense that allegedly involves refuting David Lewis’s response to van Inwagen—is unsuccessful.
  •  203
    Free will sans metaphysics? Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9525-5 Authors Helen Beebee, Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
  •  194
    Contingent laws rule: reply to Bird
    Analysis 62 (3): 252-255. 2002.
    In a recent paper (Bird 2001), Alexander Bird argues that the law that common salt dissolves in water is metaphysically necessary - and he does so without presupposing dispositionalism about properties. If his argument were sound, it would thus show that at least one law of nature is meta- physically necessary, and it would do so without illicitly presupposing a position (dispositionalism) that is already committed to a necessitarian view of laws. I shall argue that Bird's argument is unsu…Read more
  •  184
    Women and Deviance in Philosophy
    In K. Hutchison & F. Jenkins (eds.), Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change?, Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 61--80. 2013.
  •  172
    John Foster the divine lawmaker
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2): 453-457. 2009.
  •  162
    Hume. Metaphysics and Epistemology (edited book)
    mentis. 2010.
    The articles in this special issue of the yearbook Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy all concern, in one way or another, Hume’s epistemology and metaphysics. There are discussions of our knowledge of causal powers, the extent to which conceivability is a guide to modality, and testimony; there are also discussions of our ideas of space and time, the role in Hume’s thought of the psychological mechanism of ‘completing the union’, the role of impressions, and Hume’s argument against the c…Read more
  •  160
  •  159
    Metametaphysics
    The Philosophers' Magazine 50 24-25. 2010.
  •  158
    _‘Informative, accessible, and fun to read— this is an excellent reference guide for undergraduates and anyone wanting an introduction to the fundamental issues of metaphysics. I know of no other resource like it.’– __Meghan Griffith, Davidson College, USA_ _'Marvellous! This book provides the very best place to start for students wanting to take the first step into understanding metaphysics.Undergraduates would do well to buy it and consult it regularly. The quality and clarity of the material …Read more
  •  135
    Hume’s impact on causation
    The Philosophers' Magazine (54): 75-79. 2011.
    Many philosophers came to regard “causation” as an illegitimate pseudo-concept. This was a dominant view in analytic philosophy until quite late in the twentieth century. Russell famously quipped that “the law of causality” was “a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm”
  •  132
    Truthmakers: The Contemporary Debate (edited book)
    Clarendon Press. 2005.
    This volume will be the starting point for future discussion and research.
  •  113
    Causation and Observation
    In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation, Oxford University Press. 2009.
  •  112
    Smilansky's alleged refutation of compatibilism
    Analysis 68 (3): 258-260. 2008.
    No Abstract