Laws and Counterfactuals: Defusing an Argument against the Humean View of Laws

Dialogue 50 (4):751-758 (2011)
Abstract
ABSTRACT: Appealing to the failure of counterfactual support is a standard device in refuting a Humean view on laws of nature: some true generalisations do not support relevant counterfactuals; therefore not every true general fact is a law of nature—so goes the refutation. I will argue that this strategy does not work, for our understanding of the truth-value of any counterfactual is grounded in our understanding of the lawhood of some statements related to it.
Keywords Laws of nature  Counterfactual support
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DOI 10.1017/S0012217312000054
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References found in this work BETA
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Mental Events.Donald Davidson - 1970 - In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Essays on Actions and Events. Clarendon Press. pp. 207-224.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Hume David - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), The Monist. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.

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