Michel Ghins
Université Catholique de Louvain
In this paper, I briefly present the regularity and necessity views and assess their difficulties. I construe scientific laws as universal propositions satisfied by empirically successful scientific models and made — approximately — true by the real systems represented, albeit partially, by these models. I also conceive a scientific theory as a set of models together with a set of propositions, some of which are laws. A scientific law is a universal proposition or statement that belongs to a scientific theory. Scientific laws also are laws of nature since we can provide arguments in favour of natural causal powers that ground the truth of laws. I argue that the truth of counterfactual conditional statements and the occurrence of regularities in nature provide good reasons to believe that real causal powers exist in nature and that the truth of scientific laws is based on a metaphysics of nature
Keywords Van Fraassen  Poderes Causais  Ellis  Novo Essencialismo  Lei da Natureza  Disposições
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2010
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,513
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Is There an Intrinsic Criterion for Causal Lawlike Statements?Julien Blondeau & Michel Ghins - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):381-401.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Armstrong and van Fraassen on Probabilistic Laws of Nature.Duncan Maclean - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (1):1-13.
Some Laws of Nature Are Metaphysically Contingent.John T. Roberts - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457.
Laws in Physics.Mathias Frisch - 2014 - European Review 22:S33-S49.
Natural Laws in Scientific Practice.Marc Lange - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Nomological and Transcendental Criteria for Scientific Laws.Predrag Šustar - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):533-544.
Laws of Nature.Norman Swartz - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Models: The Blueprints for Laws.Nancy Cartwright - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):303.
A Note on Scientific Essentialism, Laws of Nature, and Counterfactual Conditionals.Marc Lange - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):227 – 241.
Popper on Laws and Counterfactuals.Danilo Šuster - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):109-119.
Laws of Nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
TRUTH, LAWS AND THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.Mauro Dorato - 2011 - Manuscrito 34 (1):185-204.


Added to PP index

Total views
148 ( #70,798 of 2,446,472 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #456,659 of 2,446,472 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes