Philosophy of Science 79 (3):333-344 (2012)

Authors
Heather Demarest
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
Most philosophers of science hold that the laws of nature play an important role in determining which counterfactuals are true. Marc Lange reverses this dependence, arguing that it is the truth of certain counterfactuals that determines which statements are laws. I argue that the context sensitivity of counterfactual sentences makes it impossible for them to determine the laws. Next, I argue that Lange’s view cannot avoid additional counterexamples concerning nested counterfactuals. Finally, I argue that Lange’s counterfacts, posited as the ultimate ontological ground for the laws of nature, are unsuited to the role he demands of them.
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DOI 10.1086/666066
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References found in this work BETA

Laws and Natural Properties.Barry Loewer - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):313-328.
Counterfactuals.Dorothy Edgington - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt1):1-21.

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Citations of this work BETA

Humean Laws and (Nested) Counterfactuals.Christian Loew & Siegfried Jaag - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278):93-113.
Fundamental Properties and the Laws of Nature.Heather Demarest - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):334-344.
Interpreting the Wigner–Eckart Theorem.Josh Hunt - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87:28-43.

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