Foundations of Science 10 (4):353-70 (2005)

Authors
Alexander James Bird
Cambridge University
Abstract
This paper sketches a dispositionalist conception of laws and shows how the dispositionalist should respond to certain objections. The view that properties are essentially dispositional is able to provide an account of laws that avoids the problems that face the two views of laws (the regularity and the contingent nomic necessitation views) that regard properties as categorical and laws as contingent. I discuss and reject the objections that (i) this view makes laws necessary whereas they are contingent; (ii) this view cannot account for certain kinds of laws of nature and their properties.
Keywords dispositions  dispositionalism  laws of nature  natural necessity  properties
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Reprint years 2010
DOI 10.1007/s10699-004-5259-9
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Agents’ Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
Laws of Nature, Explanation, and Semantic Circularity.Erica Shumener - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):787-815.
Derivative Properties in Fundamental Laws.Michael Townsen Hicks & Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).

View all 72 citations / Add more citations

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