The Dretske–Tooley–Armstrong theory of natural laws and the inference problem

In this article I intend to show that the inference problem, one of the main objections raised against the anti-Humean theory of natural laws defended by Dretske, Tooley and Armstrong (?DTA theory? for short), can be successfully answered. First, I argue that a proper solution should meet two essential requirements that the proposals made by the DTA theorists do not satisfy. Then I state a solution to the inference problem that assumes a local immanentistic view of universals, a partial definition of the nomic necessitation relation as a relation of existential dependence, and a principle constraining multiple occupancy. I also argue that my solution meets the two requirements. Finally, I deal with non-standard laws such as exclusion laws, causal laws and laws involving spatiotemporal parameters
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DOI 10.1080/0269859022000013319
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