Ceteris Paribus Laws in Physics

Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1715-1728 (2014)

Authors
Andreas Hüttemann
Universität Köln
Abstract
Earman and Roberts claim that there is neither a persuasive account of the truth-conditions of ceteris paribus laws, nor of how such laws can be confirmed or disconfirmed. I will give an account of the truth conditions of ceteris paribus laws in physics in terms of dispositions. It will meet the objections standardly raised against such an account. Furthermore I will elucidate how ceteris paribus laws can be tested in physics. The essential point is that physics provides methodologies for dealing with disturbing factors. For this reason disturbing factors need not be listed explicitly in law-statements. In virtue of the methodologies it is possible to test how systems would behave if the disturbing factors were absent. I will argue that this suffices to establish the tenability of the dispositional account of ceteris paribus laws
Keywords ceteris paribus laws  dispositions
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-014-9637-6
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References found in this work BETA

Powers.George Molnar - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Ceteris Paribus Post.John Earman, John T. Roberts & Sheldon Smith - 2002 - Erkenntnis 57 (3):281-301.
When Other Things Aren’T Equal: Saving Ceteris Paribus Laws From Vacuity.Paul Pietroski & Georges Rey - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):81-110.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Understanding Toy Models.Alexander Reutlinger, Dominik Hangleiter & Stephan Hartmann - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1069-1099.
Understanding (With) Toy Models.Alexander Reutlinger, Dominik Hangleiter & Stephan Hartmann - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx005.
Modelling Inequality.Karim Thébault, Seamus Bradley & Alexander Reutlinger - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):691-718.
Humeanism and Exceptions in the Fundamental Laws of Physics.Billy Wheeler - 2017 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 21 (3):317-337.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

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When Other Things Aren’T Equal: Saving Ceteris Paribus Laws From Vacuity.Paul Pietroski & Georges Rey - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):81-110.
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