Physics and the problem of historico-sociological laws

Philosophy of Science 8 (4):567-579 (1941)
The question as to the existence of laws in history has frequently been discussed. A new a discussion may yet be useful, since some mis- conceptions based on incorrect comparisons with the natural sciences have been brought forward by both advocates and opponents of historical laws. We shall try to clarify the problem by applying a few ideas familiar to physicists and astronomers to the condi- tions peculiar to history. Physics is the most mature of all empirical sciences as to method. In physics the law-concept has been used for three hundred years. It may be assumed, therefore, that most of the difficulties in its application to other fields have their physical counterpart and can be clarified most easily with the help of physical concepts. A few preliminary examples of historical laws will be given towards the end of the article
Keywords historical laws  laws of physics
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DOI 10.1086/286735
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