Laws of physics and the universe
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Are the laws of nature real? Do they belong to the world or merely reflect the way we speak about it? And if they are real, what sort of entity are they? These questions have been intensely debated by philosophers. Modern cosmology, however, has given such questions a new twist by introducing a unique perspective on physical reality, the perspective which I shall call the cosmological point of view. In this perspective, the universe as a whole presents itself as a single individual entity that undergoes a radical change with time. Laws of physics, on the other hand, have both local and global significance. They characterize how things behave locally. But they also characterize the entire universe. This suggests an interesting connection between the universe as a whole and what laws of physics hold in this universe. From the cosmological point of view, these two totalities, the laws of physics and the universe, may be related. But how exactly? Are the laws “inscribed” in the fabric of the universe or do they in some sense “precede” it in the order of being? If the latter, what is a “medium,” over and above the physical universe, in which physical laws are “written”? If the former, are they but a consequence of the universe’s very existence? And if so, how could the laws of physics survive the dramatic change the physical state of the universe underwent in the course of time?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Quentin Smith (1990). A Natural Explanation of the Existence and Laws of Our Universe. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):22 – 43.
James W. Mcallister (1999). Universal Regularities and Initial Conditions in Newtonian Physics. Synthese 120 (3):325-343.
Victor J. Stenger (2006). The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come From? Prometheus Books.
Richard Swinburne (2004). The Argument From Laws of Nature Reassessed. In M. Ruse & W. Dembski (eds.), Debating Design: From Darwin to Dna. Cambridge Univ Pr.
Yuri Balashov (1994). Uniformitarianism in Cosmology: Background and Philosophical Implications of the Steady-State Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (6):933-958.
Nicholas Maxwell (2002). Science and Meaning. The Philosophers' Magazine (18):15-16.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads56 ( #31,814 of 1,147,073 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #140,193 of 1,147,073 )
How can I increase my downloads?