Humeanism without Humean supervenience: A projectivist account of laws and possibilities

Philosophical Studies 107 (3):191-208 (2002)
Acceptance of Humean Supervenience and thereductive Humean analyses that entail it leadsto a litany of inadequately explained conflictswith our intuitions regarding laws andpossibilities. However, the non-reductiveHumeanism developed here, on which law claimsare understood as normative rather than factstating, can accommodate those intuitions. Rational constraints on such norms provide aset of consistency relations that ground asemantics formulated in terms offactual-normative worlds, solving theFrege-Geach problem of construing unassertedcontexts. This set of factual-normative worldsincludes exactly the intuitive sets ofnomologically possible worlds associated witheach possible set of laws. The extension ofthe semantics to counterfactual and subjunctiveconditionals is sketched. Potential objectionsinvolving subjectivity, mind-dependence, andnon-factuality are discussed.
Keywords Laws  Humeanism  Humean Supervenience  Counterfactuals  Projectivism  Expressivism  Anti-Realism  Explanation
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