David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011)
Laws of nature take center stage in philosophy of science. Laws are usually believed to stand in a tight conceptual relation to many important key concepts such as causation, explanation, confirmation, determinism, counterfactuals etc. Traditionally, philosophers of science have focused on physical laws, which were taken to be at least true, universal statements that support counterfactual claims. But, although this claim about laws might be true with respect to physics, laws in the special sciences (such as biology, psychology, economics etc.) appear to have—maybe not surprisingly—different features than the laws of physics. Special science laws—for instance, the economic law “Under the condition of perfect competition, an increase of demand of a commodity leads to an increase of price, given that the quantity of the supplied commodity remains constant” and, in biology, Mendel's Laws—are usually taken to “have exceptions”, to be “non-universal” or “to be ceteris paribus laws”. How and whether the laws of physics and the laws of the special sciences differ is one of the crucial questions motivating the debate on ceteris paribus laws. Another major, controversial question concerns the determination of the precise meaning of “ceteris paribus”. Philosophers have attempted to explicate the meaning of ceteris paribus clauses in different ways. The question of meaning is connected to the problem of empirical content, i.e., the question whether ceteris paribus laws have non-trivial and empirically testable content. Since many philosophers have argued that ceteris paribus laws lack empirically testable content, this problem constitutes a major challenge to a theory of ceteris paribus laws.
|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
Gerhard Schurz (2014). Ceteris Paribus and Ceteris Rectis Laws: Content and Causal Role. Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1801-1817.
Alexander Reutlinger (2014). Do Statistical Laws Solve the 'Problem of Provisos'? Erkenntnis 79 (10):1759-1773.
Markus Schrenk (2014). Better Best Systems and the Issue of CP-Laws. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1787-1799.
Matthias Unterhuber (2014). Do Ceteris Paribus Laws Exist? A Regularity-Based Best System Analysis. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1833-1847.
Michael Strevens (2014). High-Level Exceptions Explained. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1819-1832.
Similar books and articles
Markus Schrenk (2007). Can Capacities Rescue Us From Ceteris Paribus Laws? In B. Gnassounou & M. Kistler (eds.), Dispositions in Philosophy and Science. Ashgate
John Earman & John Roberts (1999). "Ceteris Paribus", There Is No Problem of Provisos. Synthese 118 (3):439 - 478.
Nancy Cartwright (2002). In Favor of Laws That Are Not Ceteris Paribus After All. Erkenntnis 57 (3):425Ð439.
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.
James Woodward (2002). There is No Such Thing as a Ceteris Paribus Law. Erkenntnis 57 (3):303Ð328.
Charles Wallis (1994). Ceteris Paribus Laws and Psychological Explanations. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:388 - 397.
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.
Marcello Guarini (2000). Horgan and Tienson on Ceteris Paribus Laws. Philosophy of Science 67 (2):301-315.
Markus Schrenk (2003). Real Ceteris Paribus Laws. In R. Bluhm & C. Nimtz (eds.), Proceedings of GAP.5, Bielefeld 2003. Mentis
Barry Ward (2009). Cartwright, Forces, and Ceteris Paribus Laws. Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):55-62.
Gerhard Schurz (2002). Ceteris Paribus Laws: Classification and Deconstruction. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 57 (3):351Ð372.
Alice Drewery (2001). Dispositions and Ceteris Paribus Laws. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):723-733.
Stephen R. Schiffer (1991). Ceteris Paribus Laws. Mind 100 (397):1-17.
Robert Klee (1992). Anomalous Monism, Ceteris Paribus, and Psychological Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (3):389-403.
Added to index2011-07-24
Total downloads216 ( #7,126 of 1,725,989 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #55,471 of 1,725,989 )
How can I increase my downloads?