The Natural Kind Analysis of Ceteris Paribus Law Statements

Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):359-380 (2007)
Abstract
A novel analysis of Ceteris Paribus (CP) law statements is constructed. It explains how such statements can have determinate, testable content by relating their semantics to the semantics of natural kind terms. Objections are discussed, and the analysis is compared with others. Many philosophers think of the CP clause as a ‘no interference’ clause. However, many non-strict scientific generalizations are clearly not subsumed under this construal. While this analysis accounts interference cases as violating the CP clause, it is applicable to a broader class of non-strict scientific generalizations than its ‘no interference’ rivals
Keywords Laws  Natural kinds  Special sciences  Explanation  Ceteris paribus
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