When other things aren't equal: Saving ceteris paribus laws from vacuity

A common view is that ceteris paribus clauses render lawlike statements vacuous, unless such clauses can be explicitly reformulated as antecedents of ?real? laws that face no counterinstances. But such reformulations are rare; and they are not, we argue, to be expected in general. So we defend an alternative sufficient condition for the non-vacuity of ceteris paribus laws: roughly, any counterinstance of the law must be independently explicable, in a sense we make explicit. Ceteris paribus laws will carry a plethora of explanatory commitments; and claims that such commitments are satisfied will be as (dis) confirmable as other empirical claims.
Keywords Clause  Empiricism  Laws  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/46.1.81
 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: 16,667
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
Jesse R. Steinberg (2010). Dispositions and Subjunctives. Philosophical Studies 148 (3):323 - 341.

View all 48 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

216 ( #7,761 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

131 ( #5,263 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.