David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (3):269-283 (2013)
The existence of natural laws, whether deterministic or indeterministic, and whether exceptionless or ceteris paribus, seems puzzling because it implies that mindless bits of matter behave in a consistent and co-ordinated way. I explain this puzzle by showing that a number of attempted solutions fail. The puzzle could be resolved if it were assumed that natural laws are a manifestation of God’s activity. This argument from natural law to God’s existence differs from its traditional counterparts in that, whereas the latter seek to explain the fact of natural laws, the former seeks to explain their possibility. The customary objections to the traditional arguments cannot be successfully adapted to counter this new argument, with one exception which has only limited effect. I rebut four claims that the theistic solution to the puzzle about natural laws is paradoxical, though I concede that one of these claims has merit. I consider four objections to the new argument but find three of them more or less unsatisfactory. The fourth, if successful, would undermine our claims to know the truth about the world
|Keywords||Ceteris paribus Chance Commands God Natural laws Necessity Possibility Science|
|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
Karl R. Popper & John C. Eccles (1977). The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism. Springer.
Graham Priest (2006). In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent. Oxford University Press.
David Hume (1739/2000). A Treatise of Human Nature. Oxford University Press.
Immanuel Kant (1998). Critique of Pure Reason (Translated and Edited by Paul Guyer & Allen W. Wood). Cambridge.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nancy Cartwright (2002). In Favor of Laws That Are Not Ceteris Paribus After All. Erkenntnis 57 (3):425Ð439.
Bernhard Nickel (2010). Ceteris Paribus Laws: Generics and Natural Kinds. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (06).
Markus Schrenk (2007). Can Capacities Rescue Us From Ceteris Paribus Laws? In B. Gnassounou & M. Kistler (eds.), Dispositions in Philosophy and Science. Ashgate
Barry Ward (2009). Cartwright, Forces, and Ceteris Paribus Laws. Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):55-62.
Charles Wallis (1994). Ceteris Paribus Laws and Psychological Explanations. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:388-397.
Quentin Smith (1990). A Natural Explanation of the Existence and Laws of Our Universe. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):22 – 43.
Marc Lange (2000). Natural Laws in Scientific Practice. Oxford University Press.
John Earman & John Roberts (1999). "Ceteris Paribus", There Is No Problem of Provisos. Synthese 118 (3):439 - 478.
Paul M. Pietroski & Georges Rey (1995). When Other Things Aren't Equal: Saving Ceteris Paribus Laws From Vacuity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):81-110.
Marc Lange (2002). Who's Afraid of Ceteris-Paribus Laws? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Them. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 57 (3):281Ð301.
Harold Kincaid (1990). Defending Laws in the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (1):56?83.
Alexander Bird (2004). Antidotes All the Way Down? Theoria 19 (3):259-269.
James N. Anderson & Greg Welty (2011). The Lord of Noncontradiction: An Argument for God From Logic. Philosophia Christi 13 (2):321 - 338.
Robert D. Rupert (2008). Ceteris Paribus Laws, Component Forces, and the Nature of Special-Science Properties. Noûs 42 (3):349-380.
Alice Drewery (2001). Dispositions and Ceteris Paribus Laws. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):723-733.
Added to index2012-03-02
Total downloads223 ( #11,197 of 1,793,090 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #169,529 of 1,793,090 )
How can I increase my downloads?