Hempel's Provisos and Ceteris Paribus Clauses

The problem of ceteris paribus clauses and Hempel’s problem of provisos are closely-related difficulties. Both challenge advocates of accounts of scientific theories involving laws understood as universal generalizations, and they have been treated as identical problems. Earman and Roberts argue that the problems are distinct. Towards arguing against them, I characterize the relationship between Hempel’s provisos and one way of expressing ceteris paribus clauses. I then describe the relationship between the problems attributed to the clauses, suggesting that they form a single problem-cluster. However, Hempel’s way of formulating provisos and discussing what they involve entangles provisos with the problem of skepticism. This creates a departure in Hempel’s discussion of provisos from the distinctive problem of vacuity which characterizes the problem of ceteris paribus clauses, though for different reasons than Earman and Roberts suggest
Keywords Hempel, Carl Gustav  Provisos   Ceteris paribus clauses  Exceptions  Deductivism  Scientific laws  Skepticism  Vacuity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10838-011-9161-1
 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: 15,831
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

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Robert Kowalenko (2014). Ceteris Paribus Laws: A Naturalistic Account. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (2):133-155.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ingvar Johansson (1980). Ceteris Paribus Clauses, Closure Clauses and Falsifiability. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 11 (1):16-22.
Charles Wallis (1994). Ceteris Paribus Laws and Psychological Explanations. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:388 - 397.
Daniel M. Hausman (1988). Ceteris Paribus Clauses and Causality in Economics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:308 - 316.
Robert Klee (1992). Anomalous Monism, Ceteris Paribus, and Psychological Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (3):389-403.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #134,685 of 1,724,750 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,121 of 1,724,750 )

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.