Erkenntnis 57 (3):407-423 (2002)

Authors
Marc Lange
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Ceteris-paribus clauses are nothing to worry about; aceteris-paribus qualifier is not poisonously indeterminate in meaning. Ceteris-paribus laws teach us that a law need not be associated straightforwardly with a regularity in the manner demanded by regularity analyses of law and analyses of laws as relations among universals. This lesson enables us to understand the sense in which the laws of nature would have been no different under various counterfactual suppositions — a feature even of those laws that involve no ceteris-paribus qualification and are actually associated with exceptionless regularities. Ceteris-paribus generalizations of an‘inexact science’ qualify as laws of that science in virtue of their distinctive relation to counterfactuals: they form a set that is stable for the purposes of that field. The stability of an inexact science's laws may involve their remaining reliable even under certain counterfactual suppositions violating fundamental laws of physics. The ceteris-paribus laws of an inexact science may thus possess a kind of necessity lacking in the fundamental laws of physics. A nomological explanation supplied by an inexact science would then be irreducible to an explanation of the same phenomenon at the level of fundamental physics. Island biogeography is used to illustrate how a special science could be autonomous in this manner.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1023/A%3A1021546731582
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,556
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Dispositions and Subjunctives.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):323 - 341.

View all 37 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ceteris Paribus Laws in Physics.Andreas Hüttemann - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1715-1728.
How the Ceteris Paribus Laws of Physics Lie.Geert Keil - 2005 - In Jan Faye, Paul Needham, Uwe Scheffler & Max Urchs (eds.), Nature's Principles. Springer. pp. 167-200.
Ceteris Paribus Laws and Psychological Explanations.Charles Wallis - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:388-397.
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.
Cartwright, Forces, and Ceteris Paribus Laws.Barry Ward - 2009 - Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):55-62.
Ceteris Paribus Laws.Stephen Schiffer - 1991 - Mind 100 (397):1-17.
Dispositions and Ceteris Paribus Laws.Alice Drewery - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):723-733.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-03-21

Total views
6 ( #1,025,621 of 2,326,771 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #638,349 of 2,326,771 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes