Tooley's account of the necessary connection between law and regularity

Philosophical Studies 166 (1):33-43 (2013)
Abstract
Fred Dretske, Michael Tooley, and David Armstrong accept a theory of governing laws of nature according to which laws are atomic states of affairs that necessitate corresponding natural regularities. Some philosophers object to the Dretske/Tooley/Armstrong theory on the grounds that there is no illuminating account of the necessary connection between governing law and natural regularity. In response, Michael Tooley has provided a reductive account of this necessary connection in his book Causation (1987). In this essay, I discuss an improved version of his account and argue that it fails. First, the account cannot be extended to explain the necessary connection between certain sorts of laws—namely, probabilistic laws and laws relating structural universals—and their corresponding regularities. Second, Tooley’s account succeeds only by (very subtly) incorporating primitive necessity elsewhere, so the problem of avoiding primitive necessity is merely relocated
Keywords Metaphysics  Laws of nature  Humeanism  Inference problem
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-0023-4
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References found in this work BETA
The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Laws of Nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
The Nature of Laws.Michael Tooley - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):667-98.

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Citations of this work BETA
Can Bare Dispositions Explain Categorical Regularities?Tyler Hildebrand - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):569-584.
It is the Business of Laws to Govern.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (4):577-588.

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