A note on scientific essentialism, laws of nature, and counterfactual conditionals

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):227 – 241 (2004)
Scientific essentialism aims to account for the natural laws' special capacity to support counterfactuals. I argue that scientific essentialism can do so only by resorting to devices that are just as ad hoc as those that essentialists accuse Humean regularity theories of employing. I conclude by offering an account of the laws' distinctive relation to counterfactuals that portrays laws as contingent but nevertheless distinct from accidents by virtue of possessing a genuine variety of necessity.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/713659835
 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: 16,707
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Boris Kment (2006). Counterfactuals and the Analysis of Necessity. Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):237–302.
John Roberts (2010). Some Laws of Nature Are Metaphysically Contingent. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457.
Toby Handfield (2005). Lange on Essentialism, Counterfactuals, and Explanation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):81 – 85.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

263 ( #4,616 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #37,511 of 1,726,249 )

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.