Laws of nature

Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268 (1977)
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Abstract

It is a traditional empiricist doctrine that natural laws are universal truths. In order to overcome the obvious difficulties with this equation most empiricists qualify it by proposing to equate laws with universal truths that play a certain role, or have a certain function, within the larger scientific enterprise. This view is examined in detail and rejected; it fails to account for a variety of features that laws are acknowledged to have. An alternative view is advanced in which laws are expressed by singular statements of fact describing the relationship between universal properties and magnitudes

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Author's Profile

Fred Dretske
Last affiliation: Duke University