Models: The blueprints for laws

Philosophy of Science 64 (4):303 (1997)
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In this paper the claim that laws of nature are to be understood as claims about what necessarily or reliably happens is disputed. Laws can characterize what happens in a reliable way, but they do not do this easily. We do not have laws for everything occurring in the world, but only for those situations where what happens in nature is represented by a model: models are blueprints for nomological machines, which in turn give rise to laws. An example from economics shows, in particular, how we use--and how we need to use--models to get probabilistic laws.



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Nancy Cartwright
London School of Economics

References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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Logic of Statistical Inference.Ian Hacking - 1965 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Explaining Science.Ronald Giere - 1991 - Noûs 25 (3):386-388.
XII*—Fundamentalism vs. the Patchwork of Laws.Nancy Cartwright - 19934 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94 (1):279-292.

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