David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 130 (2):235-264 (2002)
It is often claimed that the bulk of the laws of physics –including such venerable laws as Universal Gravitation– are violated in many (or even all) circumstances because they havecounter-instances that result when a system is not isolated fromother systems. Various accounts of how one should interpretthese (apparently) violated laws have been provided. In thispaper, I examine two accounts of (apparently) violated laws, thatthey are merely ceteris paribus laws and that they aremanifestations of capacities. Through an examination of theprimary example that motivated these views, I show that given aproper understanding of the situation, neither view is optimalbecause the law is not even apparently violated. Along the way, Iam able to diagnose what has led to the mistaken belief: I showthat it originates from an element of the standard empiricistconception of laws. I then evaluate the suggestions of how tointerpret violated laws with respect to other examples and findthem wanting there too.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jan Hauska (2009). Dispositions Unmasked. Theoria 75 (4):304-335.
Sheldon R. Smith (2010). Elementary Classical Mechanics and the Principle of the Composition of Causes. Synthese 173 (3):353 - 373.
Nicholaos Jones (2009). General Relativity and the Standard Model: Why Evidence for One Does Not Disconfirm the Other. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (2):124-132.
Nicholaos Jones (2013). Don't Blame the Idealizations. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 44 (1):85-100.
Sheldon R. Smith (2007). Causation and Its Relation to 'Causal Laws'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):659 - 688.
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