David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):179 – 190 (2003)
Nancy Cartwright argues that so-called capacities, not universal laws of nature, best explain the often complex way events actually unfold. On this view, science would represent a world that is fundamentally "dappled", or disunified, and not, as orthodoxy would perhaps have it, a world unified by universal laws of nature. I argue, first, that the problem Cartwright raises for laws of nature seems to arise for capacities too, so why reject laws of nature? Second, that in so far as there is a problem, it concerns the role of counterfactuals in explanation; I then briefly propose a simple model of counterfactual explanation. Finally, I investigate how a sophisticated version of the regularity theory of laws of nature (that of Ramsey-Lewis) can be neutral between the empirical hypotheses that the world is unified, and that the world is disunified.
|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
Danilo Šuster (2005). Popper on Laws and Counterfactuals. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):109-119.
Carl Hoefer (2003). For Fundamentalism. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1401--1412.
Nancy Cartwright (1997). Models: The Blueprints for Laws. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):303.
Stuart S. Glennan (1997). Capacities, Universality, and Singularity. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):605-626.
Norman Swartz, Laws of Nature. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Holly Andersen (2011). Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
Dan Mcarthur (2006). Contra Cartwright: Structural Realism, Ontological Pluralism and Fundamentalism About Laws. Synthese 151 (2):233 - 255.
Margaret Morrison (1994). Causes and Contexts: The Foundations of Laser Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):127-151.
Nancy Cartwright (1989). Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads100 ( #13,168 of 1,139,999 )
Recent downloads (6 months)24 ( #7,891 of 1,139,999 )
How can I increase my downloads?