Why are the laws of nature so important to science?

Why should science be so interested in discovering whether p is a law over and above whether p is true? The answer may involve the laws' relation to counterfactuals: p is a law iff p would still have obtained under any counterfactual supposition that is consistent with the laws. But unless we already understand why science is especially concerned with the laws, we cannot explain why science is especially interested in what would have happened under those counterfactual suppositions consistent with the laws. It is argued that the laws form the only non-trivially "stable" set, where "stability" is invariance under a certain range of counterfactual suppositions not itself defined by reference to the laws. It is then explained why science should be so interested in identifying a non-trivially "stable" set: because of stability's relation to the best set of "inductive strategies".
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.2307/2653785
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 25,100
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Stability and Lawlikeness.Jani Raerinne - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):833-851.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

374 ( #6,322 of 2,132,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #129,340 of 2,132,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums