Philosophical Studies 166 (1):33-43 (2013)

Authors
Tyler Hildebrand
Dalhousie University
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

Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - 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.
The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
What is a Law of Nature?David M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

It is the Business of Laws to Govern.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (4):577-588.
Platonic Laws of Nature.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):365-381.
No Laws and (Thin) Powers in, No (Governing) Laws Out.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
Natural Properties, Necessary Connections, and the Problem of Induction.Tyler Hildebrand - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:668-689.
Can Bare Dispositions Explain Categorical Regularities?Tyler Hildebrand - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):569-584.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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