Synthese 167 (1):81--92 (2009)

Rachael Briggs
Australian National University
David Lewis’s ‘Humean Supervenience’ (henceforth ‘HS’) combines realism about laws, chances, and dispositions with a sparse ontology according to which everything supervenes on the overall spatiotemporal distribution of non-dispositional properties (Lewis 1986a, Philosophical papers: Volume II, pp. ix–xvii, New York: Oxford Univesity Press, 1994, Mind 103:473–490). HS faces a serious problem—a “big bad bug” (Lewis 1986a, p. xiv): it contradicts the Principal Principle, a seemingly obvious norm of rational credence. Two authors have tried to rescue Lewis’s ontology from the ‘big bad bug’ (henceforth ‘the Bug’) by rejecting realism about laws, chances, and dispositions (Halpin 1994, Aust J Phil 72:317–338, 1998, Phil Sci 65:349–360; Ward 2005, Phil Sci 71:241–261). I will argue that this strategy cannot possibly work: it is the ontology, not the realist thesis, that lies at the root of the problem.
Keywords Metaphysics  Philosophy of science  Laws of nature  Probability  Humean Supervenience  Bayesianism  Quasi-realism  Relativism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-007-9290-6
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Papers Vol. II.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
Essays in Quasi-Realism.Simon Blackburn - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Undermining and Admissibility.Michael Thau - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):491-504.

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Citations of this work BETA

New Foundations for Counterfactuals.Franz Huber - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2167-2193.
Formal Representations of Belief.Franz Huber - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What Should I Believe About What Would Have Been the Case?Franz Huber - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):81-110.
Why Follow the Royal Rule?Franz Huber - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).

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The Anatomy of the Big Bad Bug.Rachael Briggs - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):428-449.
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