Initial Conditions and the 'Open Systems' Argument against Laws of Nature

Metaphysica 9 (1):17-31 (2008)
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Abstract

This article attacks “open systems” arguments that because constant conjunctions are not generally observed in the real world of open systems we should be highly skeptical that universal laws exist. This work differs from other critiques of open system arguments against laws of nature by not focusing on laws themselves, but rather on the inference from open systems. We argue that open system arguments fail for two related reasons; 1) because they cannot account for the “systems” central to their argument (nor the implied systems labeled “exogenous factors” in relation to the system of interest) and 2) they are nomocentric, fixated on laws while ignoring initial and antecedent conditions that are able to account for systems and exogenous factors within a fundamentalist framework

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References found in this work

The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
A realist theory of science.Roy Bhaskar - 1975 - New York: Routledge.
Philosophy of mathematics: structure and ontology.Stewart Shapiro - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Mathematics as a science of patterns.Michael David Resnik - 1997 - New York ;: Oxford University Press.

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