Laws and modal realism

Philosophical Studies 46 (3):335-347 (1984)
Abstract
It is widely agreed that constant conjunction is a necessary condition for a proposit'2on such as 'Every A is a B' being a law) That is each A is also a B (where A and B are kinds of events, objects states of affairs, or whatever) or the property of being an A is always conjoined with the property of being a B. It is also widely agreed that this cannot be the whole story. How can we distinguish accidental generalisations from laws? Why is it that 'Every massive object attracts every other massive object' is taken as a law, while 'Every golden object is less than a million kilograms (say) in mass' is not? Both are true universally, do not make reference to particular entities or places or times, and so on and so forth, and yet they are given vastly different ontological and/or epistemic status. This is the problem of laws
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Citations of this work BETA
Daniel Nolan (2011). The Extent of Metaphysical Necessity. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):313-339.
Claudine Tiercelin (2002). La métaphysique et l'analyse conceptuelle. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 4 (4):529-554.
Jessica Pfeifer (2012). Mill and Lewis on Laws, Experimentation, and Systematization. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):172-181.
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