Nomological Necessity

Edited by Markus Schrenk (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
Assistant editor: Florian J. Boge (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
About this topic
Summary Some statements are not only true but necessarily true. The fact they state can not possibly be otherwise. Consider the necessary "My sister is a woman" versus the non-necessary (i.e., accidental or contingent) "I have a brother". There are, however, different kinds of necessity: a logical necessity, like "It is raining or it is not raining", has its source in the rules of logic; a conceptual necessity, like "Bachelors are unmarried men", is true in virtue of the meanings of the words of the statement; a metaphysical necessity, like "Water is H2O", is said to be necessarily true because it is the essence of water to be H2O. Nomological necessity, finally, is grounded in or grounds the laws of nature: "Increased heat at constant volume necessitates (or causes) higher pressure".  Some philosophers first give a theory of what laws of nature are and then can say on that basis that events happen with nomological necessity when they happen because of the laws. Other philosophers take nomological necessity to be basic and define law statements in terms of nomologically necessary relations in nature.
Key works The two most famous opposite views are those of Lewis for whom laws come first (Lewis 1973, especially pp. 73 onwards) and Armstrong, Dretske, Tooley, for whom nomological necessity is more basic Armstrong 1983Dretske 1977Tooley 1997.
Introductions Carroll 1994
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175 found
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  1. The Primitivist Response to the Inference Problem.Ashley Coates - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    While the inference problem is widely thought to be one of the most serious problems facing non-Humean accounts of laws, Jonathan Schaffer has argued that a primitivist response straightforwardly dissolves the problem. On this basis, he claims that the inference problem is really a pseudo-problem. Here I clarify the prospects of a primitivist response to the inference problem and their implications for the philosophical significance of the problem. I argue both that it is a substantial question whether this sort of (...)
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  2. Metaphysical Necessity in the Neo-Sadraian School and Assessment of Necessitarian Theories of the Laws of Nature.Javad Darvish Aghajani - forthcoming - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science:1-25.
    To differentiate between the laws of nature and accidental generalizations, we must adopt a view of necessity that is capable of being realized in relationships existing among natural objects. In neo-Sadraian Islamic philosophy, metaphysical necessity is accepted as part of the cause-effect relationship. This paper compares the neo-Sadraian interpretation of necessity and necessitarian theories about the laws of nature, particularly essentialism and universal theory. By resorting to specific forms al-shûrat al-naw’iyyah, the origin of the essential properties of natural objects, I (...)
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  3. The Strong Arm of the Law: A Unified Account of Necessary and Contingent Laws of Nature.Salim Hirèche, Niels Linnemann, Robert Michels & Lisa Vogt - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (3-4):10211-10252.
    A common feature of all standard theories of the laws of nature is that they are "absolutist": They take laws to be either all metaphysically necessary or all contingent. Science, however, gives us reason to think that there are laws of both kinds, suggesting that standard theories should make way for "non-absolutist" alternatives: theories which accommodate laws of both modal statuses. In this paper, we set out three explanatory challenges for any candidate non-absolutist theory and discuss the prospects of the (...)
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  4. Self-Explanation and Empty-Base Explanation.Yannic Kappes - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-18.
    This paper explores a novel notion of self-explanation which combines ideas from two sources: (1) the tripartite account of explanation, according to which a proposition can help explain another either in the capacity of a reason why the latter obtains or in the capacity of an explanatory link, and (2) the notion of an empty-base explanation (sometimes called 'null-explanation'), which generalizes the ideas of explanation by zero-grounding and explanation by status. After having introduced these ideas and the novel notion of (...)
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  5. Laws of Nature: Necessary and Contingent.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper shows how a niche account of the metaphysics of laws of nature and physical properties—the Powers-BSA—can underpin both a sense in which the laws are metaphysically necessary and a sense in which it is true that the laws could have been different. The ability to reconcile entrenched disagreement should count in favour of a philosophical theory, so this paper constitutes a novel argument for the Powers-BSA by showing how it can reconcile disagreement about the laws’ modal status. This (...)
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  6. Descartes on Necessity and the Laws of Nature.Nathan Rockwood - forthcoming - Journal of Analytic Theology.
    This paper is on Descartes’ account of modality and, in particular, his account of the necessity of the laws of nature. He famously argues that the necessity of the “eternal truths” of logic and mathematics depends on God’s will. Here I suggest he has the same view about the necessity of the laws of nature. Further, I argue, this is a plausible theory of laws. For philosophers often talk about something being physically necessary because of the laws of nature, but (...)
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  7. Existence and Modality in Kant: Lessons From Barcan.Andrew Stephenson - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    This essay considers Kant’s theory of modality in light of a debate in contemporary modal metaphysics and modal logic concerning the Barcan formulas. The comparison provides a new and fruitful perspective on Kant’s complex and sometimes confusing claims about possibility and necessity. Two central Kantian principles provide the starting point for the comparison: that the possible must be grounded in the actual and that existence is not a real predicate. Both are shown to be intimately connected to the Barcan formulas, (...)
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  8. The laws of modality.Matthew Tugby - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Nomic realists have traditionally put laws to work within a theory of natural modality, in order to provide a metaphysical source for causal necessitation, counterfactuals, and dispositions. However, laws are well-suited to perform other work as well. Necessitation is a widespread phenomenon and includes cases of categorial, conceptual, grounding, mathematical and normative necessitation. A permissive theory of universals allows us to extend nomic realism into these other domains. With a particular focus on grounding necessitation, it is argued that the sorts (...)
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  9. No Laws and (Thin) Powers in, No (Governing) Laws Out.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    Non-Humean accounts of the metaphysics of nature posit either laws or powers in order to account for natural necessity and world-order. We argue that such monistic views face fundamental problems. On the one hand, neo-Aristotelians cannot give unproblematic power-based accounts of the functional laws among quantities offered by physical theories, as well as of the place of conservation laws and symmetries in a lawless ontology; in order to capture these characteristics, commitment to governing laws is indispensable. On the other hand, (...)
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  10. Invariance as a Basis for Necessity and Laws.Gila Sher - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3945-3974.
    Many philosophers are baffled by necessity. Humeans, in particular, are deeply disturbed by the idea of necessary laws of nature. In this paper I offer a systematic yet down to earth explanation of necessity and laws in terms of invariance. The type of invariance I employ for this purpose generalizes an invariance used in meta-logic. The main idea is that properties and relations in general have certain degrees of invariance, and some properties/relations have a stronger degree of invariance than others. (...)
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  11. What Is Determinism? Why We Should Ditch the Entailment Definition.Helen Steward - 2021 - In Marco Hausmann & Jörg Noller (eds.), Free Will: Historical and Analytic Perspectives. Springer Verlag. pp. 17-43.
    What is the thesis of determinism? Though it is obvious that in principle there is more than one possible thesis that might be given this name, it seems to be the case that philosophers working on the free will problem have gradually gravitated towards a more-or-less standard definition, minor variations on which can now be found widely scattered through the free will literature. I call it the ‘entailment definition’ and it states, roughly, that determinism is the thesis that for any (...)
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  12. Does General Relativity Highlight Necessary Connections in Nature?Antonio Vassallo - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1-23.
    The dynamics of general relativity is encoded in a set of ten differential equations, the so-called Einstein field equations. It is usually believed that Einstein's equations represent a physical law describing the coupling of spacetime with material fields. However, just six of these equations actually describe the coupling mechanism: the remaining four represent a set of differential relations known as Bianchi identities. The paper discusses the physical role that the Bianchi identities play in general relativity, and investigates whether these identities (...)
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  13. The Governance of Laws of Nature: Guidance and Production.Tobias Wilsch - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):909-933.
    Realists about laws of nature and their Humean opponents disagree on whether laws ‘govern’. An independent commitment to the ‘governing conception’ of laws pushes many towards the realist camp. Despite its significance, however, no satisfactory account of governance has been offered. The goal of this article is to develop such an account. I base my account on two claims. First, we should distinguish two notions of governance, ‘guidance’ and ‘production’, and secondly, explanatory phenomena other than laws are also candidates for (...)
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  14. Determinism, Physical Possibility, and Laws of Nature.Balázs Gyenis - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (6):568-581.
    We call attention to different formulations of how physical laws relate to what is physically possible in the philosophical literature, and argue that it may be the case that determinism fails under one formulation but reigns under the other. Whether this is so depends on our view on the nature of laws, and may also depend on the inter-theoretical relationships among our best physical theories, or so shall we argue.
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  15. Non‐Humean Theories of Natural Necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):1-1.
    Non‐Humean theories of natural necessity invoke modally‐laden primitives to explain why nature exhibits lawlike regularities. However, they vary in the primitives they posit and in their subsequent accounts of laws of nature and related phenomena (including natural properties, natural kinds, causation, counterfactuals, and the like). This article provides a taxonomy of non‐Humean theories, discusses influential arguments for and against them, and describes some ways in which differences in goals and methods can motivate different versions of non‐Humeanism (and, for that matter, (...)
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  16. Regularities, Degrees of Necessity, and Dispositionalism.Xavi Lanao - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (4):513-524.
    Traditionally, philosophers have cashed out the distinction between law-like and accidental regularities sharply: a regularity is either law-like, and thereby necessary, or accidental. However, Mitchell and Lange have drawn attention to the fact that some law-like regularities come in different degrees of necessity. For instance, the regularity expressed by “all electrons are negatively charged” has a greater degree of necessity than the one expressed by “all mammals are warm-blooded”, even if both of them are true. Moreover, Mitchell argues that the (...)
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  17. On Metaphysically Necessary Laws From Physics.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-13.
    How does metaphysical necessity relate to the modal force often associated with natural laws? Fine argues that natural necessity can neither be obtained from metaphysical necessity via forms of restriction nor of relativization — and therefore pleads for modal pluralism concerning natural and metaphysical necessity. Wolff, 898–906, 2013) aims at providing illustrative examples in support of applying Fine’s view to the laws of nature with specific recourse to the laws of physics: On the one hand, Wolff takes it that equations (...)
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  18. The Inductive Route Towards Necessity.Quentin Ruyant - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (2):147-163.
    It is generally assumed that relations of necessity cannot be known by induction on experience. In this paper, I propose a notion of situated possibilities, weaker than nomic possibilities, that is compatible with an inductivist epistemology for modalities. I show that assuming this notion, not only can relations of necessity be known by induction on our experience, but such relations cannot be any more underdetermined by experience than universal regularities. This means that any one believing in a universal regularity is (...)
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  19. The Nature of Contingency: Quantum Physics as Modal Realism.Alastair Wilson - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This book defends a radical new theory of contingency as a physical phenomenon. Drawing on the many-worlds approach to quantum theory and cutting-edge metaphysics and philosophy of science, it argues that quantum theories are best understood as telling us about the space of genuine possibilities, rather than as telling us solely about actuality. When quantum physics is taken seriously in the way first proposed by Hugh Everett III, it provides the resources for a new systematic metaphysical framework encompassing possibility, necessity, (...)
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  20. Laws of Nature: a philosophical approach / Leis da Natureza: uma abordagem filosófica.Rodrigo Reis Lastra Cid - 2019 - Macapá, Brazil: Editora da Universidade Federal do Amapá.
    This book deals with an internal theme of metaphysics, which is the metaphysics of the laws of nature. The author presents traditional contemporary theories, as well as his own original theory, and evaluates each one at a time. He also addresses the problem of the modality of the laws of nature and makes some criticism of the standard view of necessity as truth in all possible worlds, and shows an application of his discussion to the metaphysics of physics. / Este (...)
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  21. Essence and the Inference Problem.Ashley Coates - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):915-931.
    Discussions about the nature of essence and about the inference problem for non-Humean theories of nomic modality have largely proceeded independently of each other. In this article I argue that the right conclusions to draw about the inference problem actually depend significantly on how best to understand the nature of essence. In particular, I argue that this conclusion holds for the version of the inference problem developed and defended by Alexander Bird. I argue that Bird’s own argument that this problem (...)
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  22. Stable Regularities Without Governing Laws?Aldo Filomeno - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66:186-197.
    Can stable regularities be explained without appealing to governing laws or any other modal notion? In this paper, I consider what I will call a ‘Humean system’—a generic dynamical system without guiding laws—and assess whether it could display stable regularities. First, I present what can be interpreted as an account of the rise of stable regularities, following from Strevens [2003], which has been applied to explain the patterns of complex systems (such as those from meteorology and statistical mechanics). Second, since (...)
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  23. Humean Laws and (Nested) Counterfactuals.Christian Loew & Siegfried Jaag - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278):93-113.
    Humean reductionism about laws of nature is the view that the laws reduce to the total distribution of non-modal or categorical properties in spacetime. A worry about Humean reductionism is that it cannot motivate the characteristic modal resilience of laws under counterfactual suppositions and that it thus generates wrong verdicts about certain nested counterfactuals. In this paper, we defend Humean reductionism by motivating an account of the modal resilience of Humean laws that gets nested counterfactuals right.
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  24. What Humeans Should Say About Tied Best Systems.Christian Loew & Siegfried Jaag - 2019 - Analysis 80 (2):273-282.
    The Humean best systems account identifies laws of nature with the regularities in a system of truths that, as a whole, best conforms to scientific standards for theory-choice. A principled problem for the BSA is that it returns the wrong verdicts about laws in cases where multiple systems, containing different regularities, satisfy these standards equally well. This problem affects every version of the BSA because it arises regardless of which standards for theory-choice Humeans adopt. In this paper, we propose a (...)
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  25. The Immanent Contingency of Physical Laws in Leibniz’s Dynamics.Tzuchien Tho - 2019 - In Rodolfo Garau & Pietro Omodeo (eds.), Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science. Springer Verlag. pp. 289-316.
    This paper focuses on Leibniz’s conception of modality and its application to the issue of natural laws. The core of Leibniz’s investigation of the modality of natural laws lays in the distinction between necessary, geometrical laws on the one hand, and contingent, physical laws of nature on the other. For Leibniz, the contingency of physical laws entailed the assumption of the existence of an additional form of causality beyond mechanical or efficient ones. While geometrical truths, being necessary, do not require (...)
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  26. Explaining the Modal Force of Natural Laws.Andreas Bartels - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):6.
    In this paper, I will defend the thesis that fundamental natural laws are distinguished from accidental empirical generalizations neither by metaphysical necessity, 147–155, 2005, 2007) nor by contingent necessitation. The only sort of modal force that distinguishes natural laws, I will argue, arises from the peculiar physical property of mutual independence of elementary interactions exemplifying the laws. Mutual independence of elementary interactions means that their existence and their nature do not depend in any way on which other interactions presently occur. (...)
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  27. Epistemic Structural Realism, Modality and Laws of Nature.Bruno Borge - 2018 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 33 (3):447-468.
    According to epistemic structural realism scientific theories provide us only with knowledge about the structure of the unobservable world, but not about its nature. The most significant objection that this posi- tion has faced is the so-called Newman’s problem. In this paper I offer an alternative objection to EER. I argue that its formulation leads to undesirable skeptical positions in two fields close to scientific realism: the debates on modality and laws of nature. I also show that there is an (...)
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  28. Laws and Ideal Unity.Angela Breitenbach - 2018 - In Walter Ott & Lydia Patton (eds.), Laws of Nature. Oxford University Press. pp. 108-121.
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  29. The Routledge Handbook of Modality.Otávio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski (eds.) - 2018 - Routledge.
    Modality - the question of what is possible and what is necessary - is a fundamental area of philosophy and philosophical research. The Routledge Handbook of Modality is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising thirty-five chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into seven clear parts: worlds and modality essentialism, ontological dependence, and modality modal anti-realism epistemology of modality (...)
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  30. The Problem of Grounding Natural Modality in Kant's Account of Empirical Laws of Nature.Kristina Engelhard - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 71:24-34.
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  31. Natural Laws as Dispositions.Florian Fischer - 2018 - De Gruyter.
    Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the vast topic of laws of nature. Thus, it first outlines the alleged characteristics of the laws of nature, namely truth, objectivity, contingency, necessity, universality, grounding counterfactuals and their role in science. Among these aspects, the peculiar modal status of laws of nature will be identified as the ‘holy grail’ of the debate. The second part of this chapter is concerned with the three main families of theories of laws of nature – neo-humean, (...)
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  32. Common Ground for Laws and Metaphysical Modality.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2018 - Dissertation, King's College London
  33. The Space of Possibilities of Dispositional Essentialism.Xavi Lanao - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2813-2839.
    How we define the space of possibilities of dispositional essentialism —that is, the set of possible worlds that are genuinely possible from the point of view of DE—has important consequences for central modal debates such as how to understand the concept of essence or the relation between DE and the necessity of laws of nature. In order to define DE’s space of possibilities we need to explore DE’s consequences regarding both necessity and possibility. Unfortunately, the notion of possibility has not (...)
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  34. Laws of Nature and Nomic Necessity.Michela Massimi - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur Und Freiheit. Akten des Xii. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 397-414.
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  35. Metaphysics of the Principle of Least Action.Vladislav Terekhovich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:189-201.
    Despite the importance of the variational principles of physics, there have been relatively few attempts to consider them for a realistic framework. In addition to the old teleological question, this paper continues the recent discussion regarding the modal involvement of the principle of least action and its relations with the Humean view of the laws of nature. The reality of possible paths in the principle of least action is examined from the perspectives of the contemporary metaphysics of modality and Leibniz's (...)
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  36. Kant’s Response to Hume in the Second Analogy: A Critique of Gerd Buchdahl’s and Michael Friedman’s Accounts.Saniye Vatansever - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2):310–346.
    This article presents a critical analysis of two influential readings of Kant’s Second Analogy, namely, Gerd Buchdahl’s “modest reading” and Michael Friedman’s “strong reading.” After pointing out the textual and philosophical problems with each, I advance an alternative reading of the Second Analogy argument. On my reading, the Second Analogy argument proves the existence of necessary and strictly universal causal laws. This, however, does not guarantee that Kant has a solution for the problem of induction. After I explain why the (...)
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  37. Genuine Violations of Laws.Tobias Wilsch - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    Could laws of nature be violated, in the sense that some proposition is both a law and false? I argue that opponents of regularity theories of laws should accept the metaphysical possibility of such genuine violations. I begin with a clarification of this claim. The main argument is then developed in three steps. I first argue that opponents of regularity theory should endorse the modal-essence view: certain modal principles are essential to the laws of nature. Second, I argue that the (...)
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  38. Lawful Mimickers.Umut Baysan - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):488-494.
    The nomic view of dispositions holds that properties confer dispositions on their bearers with nomological necessity. The argument against nomic dispositions challenges the nomic view: if the nomic view is true, then objects don't have dispositions, but 'mimic' them. This paper presents an explication of disposition conferral which shows that the nomic view is not vulnerable to this objection.
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  39. The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  40. Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality, by Barbara Vetter: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, Pp. Xii + 335, £45. [REVIEW]James M. Bucknell - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):207-208.
  41. Are the laws of nature metaphysically necessary? / São as leis da natureza metafisicamente necessárias?Rodrigo Cid - 2016 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal Do Rio de Janeiro
    The main intent of this thesis is to defend that the laws of nature are better thought as transcendent universals, such as platonic governism suggests, and that they are metaphysically necessary in a strong way, such as the heterodox version of such platonism defends. With this intention, we sustain that physical symmetries are essential consequences of the laws of nature – what solves the challenge of symmetries – thus being metaphysically necessary, without being governist's necessitation laws. First, we will show (...)
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  42. Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality, by Barbara Vetter. [REVIEW]Gabriele Contessa - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1236-1244.
    Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality, by VetterBarbara. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. ix + 335.
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  43. Natural Necessity as Grounded in Natural Essence: Towards a Homogeneous Essentialist Account of Modality.Hireche Salim - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
    This thesis aims at bringing support to the general thesis of essentialism about modality: all necessity is fully grounded in essence, and possibility is defined accordingly. First, it motivates essentialism about metaphysical necessity. Second, and most importantly, it defends an essentialist account of natural modality. On this account, in particular, natural necessity is homogeneous, absolute, unconditional, and fully grounded in the essences of natural entities. Third, relying on those bases, it suggests a perfectly homogeneous essentialist account of 'absolute' modality, and (...)
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  44. Modal Science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
    This paper explains and defends the idea that metaphysical necessity is the strongest kind of objective necessity. Plausible closure conditions on the family of objective modalities are shown to entail that the logic of metaphysical necessity is S5. Evidence is provided that some objective modalities are studied in the natural sciences. In particular, the modal assumptions implicit in physical applications of dynamical systems theory are made explicit by using such systems to define models of a modal temporal logic. Those assumptions (...)
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  45. Naturgesetze in einer kausalen Welt.Bartels Andreas - 2015 - mentis.
    How can the laws of nature, that determine how objects behave, be understood as natural objects themselves? The answer that transpires from the analysis of modern theories of the laws of nature is: laws of nature are due to the causal structure of our world. They express the causal efficiacy of fundamental properties of nature. In contrast to rivaling theories, this answer does justice to the fact that laws of nature determine the course of natural events without having to appeal (...)
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  46. The Modal Status of Laws: In Defence of a Hybrid View.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):509-528.
    Three popular views regarding the modal status of the laws of nature are discussed: Humean Supervenience, nomic necessitation, and scientific/dispositional essentialism. These views are examined especially with regard to their take on the apparent modal force of laws and their ability to explain that modal force. It will be suggested that none of the three views, at least in their strongest form, can be maintained if some laws are metaphysically necessary, but others are metaphysically contingent. Some reasons for thinking that (...)
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  47. Dispositional Essentialism and the Grounding of Natural Modality.Siegfried Jaag - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Dispositional essentialism is a non-Humean view about the essences of certain fundamental or natural properties that looms large in recent metaphysics , not least because it promises to explain neatly the natural modalities such as laws of nature, counterfactuals, causation and chance. In the current paper, however, several considerations are presented that indicate a serious tension between its essentialist core thesis and natural “metaphysical” interpretations of its central explanatory claims.
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  48. Positive Law and Natural Law. Views of the Natural Law on Necessity and the Nature of Determination.Sebastian Contreras - 2013 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 54 (127):43-61.
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  49. Can Primitive Laws Explain?Tyler Hildebrand - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-15.
    One reason to posit governing laws is to explain the uniformity of nature. Explanatory power can be purchased by accepting new primitives, and scientists invoke laws in their explanations without providing any supporting metaphysics. For these reasons, one might suspect that we can treat laws as wholly unanalyzable primitives. (John Carroll’s *Laws of Nature* (1994) and Tim Maudlin’s *The Metaphysics Within Physics* (2007) offer recent defenses of primitivism about laws.) Whatever defects primitive laws might have, explanatory weakness should not be (...)
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  50. Tooley’s Account of the Necessary Connection Between Law and Regularity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):33-43.
    Fred Dretske, Michael Tooley, and David Armstrong accept a theory of governing laws of nature according to which laws are atomic states of affairs that necessitate corresponding natural regularities. Some philosophers object to the Dretske/Tooley/Armstrong theory on the grounds that there is no illuminating account of the necessary connection between governing law and natural regularity. In response, Michael Tooley has provided a reductive account of this necessary connection in his book Causation (1987). In this essay, I discuss an improved version (...)
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