Measurability and physical laws

Synthese 144 (3):433Ð447 (2005)
Abstract
I propose and motivate a new account of fundamental physical laws, the Measurability Account of Laws (MAL). This account has a distinctive logical form, in that it takes the primary nomological concept to be that of a law relative to a given theory, and defines a law simpliciter as a law relative to some true theory. What makes a proposition a law relative to a theory is that it plays an indispensable role in demonstrating that some quantity posited by that theory is measurable. In Section 1, I motivate the project of seeking a philosophical account of fundamental physical laws, as opposed to laws of nature in general. In Section 2, I motivate seeking an account with the distinctive logical form of the MAL. In Section 3, I present the MAL and illustrate the way it works by applying it to a simple example.
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