David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 44 (2):199-224 (1996)
In this essay I enter into a recently published debate between Stephen Schiffer and Jerry Fodor concerning whether adequate sense can be made of the ceteris paribus conditions in special science laws, much of their focus being on the case of putative psychological laws. Schiffer argues that adequate sense cannot be made of ceteris paribus clauses, while Fodor attempts to overcome Schiffer's arguments, in defense of special science laws. More recently, Peter Mott has attempted to show that Fodor's response to Schiffer fails, and furthermore that further study shows that the logical framework in which Schiffer and Fodor address their issue is susceptible to inconsistency.In this essay I argue that adequate sense can be made of ceteris paribus conditions. Against Mott, I argue that recent work in the model theory of non-monotonic logic indicates how his problem involving logical inconsistencies can be overcome. Against Schiffer, I argue that the claims that he makes against ceteris paribus clauses would lead to a fatal skepticism concerning indefinitely many of the claims we make about the world (and indeed that his claims would be destructive of the view of the special sciences that Schiffer himself presents in his paper), and that the semantical considerations from non-monotonic logic that I present provide a suitable framework for dealing with his complaints. Thus I come out on the whole on Fodor's side of this debate, although for my own reasons, as I argue against much of Fodor's own argumentation
|Keywords||Laws Logic Model Monotonic Psychology Fodor, J Schiffer, S|
|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
Uri D. Leibowitz (2011). Scientific Explanation and Moral Explanation. Noûs 45 (3):472-503.
Similar books and articles
Andreas Hüttemann, Alexander Reutlinger & Gerhard Schurz, Ceteris Paribus Laws. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Stephen R. Schiffer (1991). Ceteris Paribus Laws. Mind 100 (397):1-17.
Peter Mott (1992). Fodor and Ceteris Paribus Laws. Mind 101 (402):335-46.
Robert Klee (1992). Anomalous Monism, Ceteris Paribus, and Psychological Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (3):389-403.
Nancy Cartwright (2002). In Favor of Laws That Are Not Ceteris Paribus After All. Erkenntnis 57 (3):425Ð439.
John Earman & John Roberts (1999). "Ceteris Paribus", There Is No Problem of Provisos. Synthese 118 (3):439 - 478.
Marcello Guarini (2000). Horgan and Tienson on Ceteris Paribus Laws. Philosophy of Science 67 (2):301-315.
Paul M. Pietroski & Georges Rey (1995). When Other Things Aren't Equal: Saving Ceteris Paribus Laws From Vacuity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):81-110.
James Woodward (2002). There is No Such Thing as a Ceteris Paribus Law. Erkenntnis 57 (3):303Ð328.
Charles Wallis (1994). Ceteris Paribus Laws and Psychological Explanations. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:388 - 397.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads59 ( #24,466 of 1,096,467 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #45,639 of 1,096,467 )
How can I increase my downloads?