Laws and Counterfactuals: Defusing an Argument against the Humean View of Laws

Dialogue 50 (04):751-758 (2011)
Abstract
ABSTRACT: Appealing to the failure of counterfactual support is a standard device in refuting a Humean view on laws of nature: some true generalisations do not support relevant counterfactuals; therefore not every true general fact is a law of nature—so goes the refutation. I will argue that this strategy does not work, for our understanding of the truth-value of any counterfactual is grounded in our understanding of the lawhood of some statements related to it.
Keywords Laws of nature  Counterfactual support
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Donald Davidson (1970). Mental Events. In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory. Humanities Press. 79-101.

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