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

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):227 – 241 (2004)
Abstract
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.
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Citations of this work BETA
John Roberts (2010). Some Laws of Nature Are Metaphysically Contingent. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457.
Marc Lange (2008). Could the Laws of Nature Change? Philosophy of Science 75 (1):69-92.
Marc Lange (2006). Farewell to Laws of Nature? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):361-369.
Brian Ellis (2005). Marc Lange on Essentialism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):75 – 79.

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