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

Dialogue 50 (04):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
David Hume (2009). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), The Monist. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.
Michael Tooley (1977). The Nature of Laws. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):667-98.

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