A note on scientific essentialism, laws of nature, and counterfactual conditionals

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):227 – 241 (2004)

Authors
Marc Lange
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Scientific essentialism aims to account for the natural laws' special capacity to support counterfactuals. I argue that scientific essentialism can do so only by resorting to devices that are just as ad hoc as those that essentialists accuse Humean regularity theories of employing. I conclude by offering an account of the laws' distinctive relation to counterfactuals that portrays laws as contingent but nevertheless distinct from accidents by virtue of possessing a genuine variety of necessity.
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DOI 10.1080/713659835
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References found in this work BETA

Natural Laws in Scientific Practice.Marc Lange - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
» The Nature of Natural Laws «.Chris Swoyer - 1982 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):1982.
The Dispositionalist Conception of Laws.Alexander Bird - 2005 - Foundations of Science 10 (4):353-70.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Counterfactuals and the Analysis of Necessity.Boris Kment - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):237–302.
Lange on Essentialism, Counterfactuals, and Explanation.Toby Handfield - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):81 – 85.
Could the Laws of Nature Change?Marc Lange - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):69-92.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reply to Ellis and to Handfield on Essentialism, Laws, and Counterfactuals.Marc Lange - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):581 – 588.
Some Laws of Nature Are Metaphysically Contingent.John T. Roberts - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457.
Natural Laws in Scientific Practice.Marc Lange - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Laws and Their Stability.Marc Lange - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):415Ð432.
Marc Lange on Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):75 – 79.
Lange on Essentialism, Counterfactuals, and Explanation.Toby Handfield - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):81 – 85.

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