"Ceteris Paribus", There Is No Problem of Provisos

Synthese 118 (3):439 - 478 (1999)
Much of the literature on "ceteris paribus" laws is based on a misguided egalitarianism about the sciences. For example, it is commonly held that the special sciences are riddled with ceteris paribus laws; from this many commentators conclude that if the special sciences are not to be accorded a second class status, it must be ceteris paribus all the way down to fundamental physics. We argue that the (purported) laws of fundamental physics are not hedged by ceteris paribus clauses and provisos. Furthermore, we show that not only is there no persuasive analysis of the truth conditions for ceteris paribus laws, there is not even an acceptable account of how they are to be saved from triviality or how they are to be melded with standard scientific methodology. Our way out of this unsatisfactory situation to reject the widespread notion that the achievements and the scientific status of the special sciences must be understood in terms of ceteris paribus laws
Keywords Methodology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/20118153
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 32 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

260 ( #3,692 of 1,725,832 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

108 ( #5,195 of 1,725,832 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.