Fried Eggs, Thermodynamics, and the Special Sciences

Abstract
David Lewis ([1986b]) gives an attractive and familiar account of counterfactual dependence in the standard context. This account has recently been subject to a counterexample from Adam Elga ([2000]). In this article, I formulate a Lewisian response to Elga’s counterexample. The strategy is to add an extra criterion to Lewis’s similarity metric, which determines the comparative similarity of worlds. This extra criterion instructs us to take special science laws into consideration as well as fundamental laws. I argue that the Second Law of Thermodynamics should be seen as a special science law, and give a brief account of what Lewisian special science laws should look like. If successful, this proposal blocks Elga’s counterexample
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axq012
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,165
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Two Conceptions of Sparse Properties.Jonathan Schaffer - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1):92–102.
Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Determinism and Chance.B. Loewer - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):609-620.
Taking Thermodynamics Too Seriously.Craig Callender - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):539-553.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Explanatory Fictions—for Real?Samuel Schindler - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1741-1755.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A Theory of Non-Universal Laws.Alexander Reutlinger - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
Against Laws in the Special Sciences.Jaegwon Kim - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37 (Supplement):103-122.
Statistical Mechanical Imperialism.Brad Weslake - forthcoming - In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press.
Chances, Counterfactuals, and Similarity.Robert Williams - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):385-420.
Measures, Explanations and the Past: Should ‘Special’ Initial Conditions Be Explained?Craig Callender - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):195-217.
Natural Laws in Scientific Practice.Marc Lange - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-11-04

Total downloads

233 ( #15,765 of 2,172,021 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

40 ( #6,427 of 2,172,021 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums