David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 64 (4):479 (1997)
Beatty, Brandon, and Sober agree that biological generalizations, when contingent, do not qualify as laws. Their conclusion follows from a normative definition of law inherited from the Logical Empiricists. I suggest two additional approaches: paradigmatic and pragmatic. Only the pragmatic represents varying kinds and degrees of contingency and exposes the multiple relationships found among scientific generalizations. It emphasizes the function of laws in grounding expectation and promotes the evaluation of generalizations along continua of ontological and representational parameters. Stability of conditions and strength of determination in nature govern projectibility. Accuracy, ontological level, simplicity, and manageability provide additional measures of usefulness.
|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
Stuart Glennan (2005). Modeling Mechanisms. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):443-464.
Kareem Khalifa (2013). Understanding, Grasping, and Luck. Episteme 10 (1):1-17.
Bernhard Nickel (2014). The Role of Kinds in the Semantics of Ceteris Paribus Laws. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1729-1744.
Elanor Taylor (2016). Explanation and the Explanatory Gap. Acta Analytica 31 (1):77-88.
Andrew Hamilton (2007). Laws of Biology, Laws of Nature: Problems and (Dis)Solutions. Philosophy Compass 2 (3):592–610.
Similar books and articles
Amir Eshan Karbasizadeh (2008). Revising the Concept of Lawhood: Special Sciences and Natural Kinds. Synthese 162 (1):15 - 30.
Bert Leuridan (2010). Can Mechanisms Really Replace Laws of Nature? Philosophy of Science 77 (3):317-340.
Lane DesAutels (2010). Sober and Elgin on Laws of Biology: A Critique. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):249-256.
Jani Raerinne (2011). Allometries and Scaling Laws Interpreted as Laws: A Reply to Elgin. Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):99-111.
Martin Carrier (1998). In Defense of Psychological Laws. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):217 – 232.
Sandra D. Mitchell (2000). Dimensions of Scientific Law. Philosophy of Science 67 (2):242-265.
Jim Woodward (2001). Law and Explanation in Biology: Invariance is the Kind of Stability That Matters. Philosophy of Science 68 (1):1-20.
Holly Andersen (2011). Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
C. Kenneth Waters (1998). Causal Regularities in the Biological World of Contingent Distributions. Biology and Philosophy 13 (1):5-36.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads200 ( #14,742 of 1,796,218 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #208,919 of 1,796,218 )
How can I increase my downloads?