Authors
Robert Michels
University of Bern
Lisa Vogt
Freie Universität Berlin
Niels Linnemann
University of Geneva
Abstract
In a recent paper, Tuomas Tahko has argued for a hybrid view of the laws of nature, according to which some physical laws are metaphysically necessary, while others are metaphysically contingent. In this paper, we show that his criterion for distinguishing between these two kinds of laws — which crucially relies on the essences of natural kinds — is on its own unsatisfactory. We then propose an alternative way of drawing the metaphysically necessary/contingent distinction for laws of physics based on the central kinematical/dynamical distinction used in physical theorising, and argue that the criterion can be used to amend Tahko’s own account, but also that it can be combined with different metaphysical views about the source of necessity.
Keywords laws of nature  laws of physics  metaphysical necessity  contingent laws of nature  necessary laws of nature  metaphysical contingency  kinematical/dynamical distinction  scientific essentialism  laws
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Reprint years 2021
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-020-00335-4
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On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.

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