Are laws of nature consistent with contingency?

In Walter Ott & Lydia Patton (eds.), Laws of Nature. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Are the laws of nature consistent with contingency about what happens in the world? That depends on what the laws of nature actually are, but it also depends on what they are like. The latter is the concern of this chapter, which looks at three views that are widely endorsed: ‘Humean’ regularity accounts, laws as relations among universals, and disposition/powers accounts. Given an account of what laws are, what follows about how much contingency, and of what kinds, laws allow? In all three cases, the authors argue, the root idea of what laws are does not settle the issue of whether they allow contingency. Advocates of the different accounts may argue for one view or another on the issue, but this will be an add-on rather than a consequence of the basic view about what laws are.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,283

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Laws of Nature and Free Will.Pedro Merlussi - 2017 - Dissertation, Durham University
Lange’s Challenge: Accounting for Meta-laws.Zanja Yudell - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):347-369.
The Contingency of Laws of Nature in Science and Theology.Lydia Jaeger - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1611-1624.
Laws of Nature: Meeting the Empiricist Challenge.John Thomas Roberts - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
On the metaphysical contingency of laws of nature.Alan Sidelle - 2002 - In John Hawthorne & Tamar Szabó Gendler (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 309--336.
Leibniz's Optics and Contingency in Nature.Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2010 - Perspectives on Science 18 (4):432-455.
The Argument from Laws of Nature Reassessed.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - In M. Ruse & W. Dembski (eds.), Debating Design: From Darwin to Dna. Cambridge University Press.
Are Conservation Laws Metaphysically Necessary?Johanna Wolff - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):898-906.
Can Primitive Laws Explain?Tyler Hildebrand - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-15.
The dispositionalist conception of laws.Alexander Bird - 2005 - Foundations of Science 10 (4):353-70.
Lockean Essentialism and the Possibility of Miracles.Nathan Rockwood - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):293-310.
The Modal Status of Natural Laws.Erik Andrew Anderson - 1997 - Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder


Added to PP

154 (#124,133)

6 months
15 (#171,899)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Nancy Cartwright
London School of Economics
Pedro Merlussi
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

Citations of this work

Non‐Humean theories of natural necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):e12662.
What Price Changing Laws of Nature?Olivier Sartenaer, Alexandre Guay & Paul Humphreys - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
On the Explanatory Power of Dispositional Realism.Nélida Gentile & Susana Lucero - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-16.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references