The dispositionalist conception of laws

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

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Alexander James Bird
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
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.

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References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
What is a Law of Nature?D. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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