Jesse M. Mulder
Utrecht University
Humeans take reality to be devoid of ‘necessary connections’: things just happen. Laws of nature are to be understood in terms of what ‘just happens’, not vice versa. Here the Humean needs some conception of what it is that ‘just happens’ – a conception of the Humean mosaic. Lewis’s Humeanism incorporates such a conception in the form of a Lewis-style metaphysics of objects, properties, and modality. Newer versions of Humeanism about laws of nature, such as the Better Best Systems approach, typically reject such a Lewisian metaphysics, but it remains unclear what they can offer in its place. By exploring different candidate conceptions, this paper sheds light on the limits of Humeanism about laws of nature: not all conceptions of the Humean mosaic form a suitable basis for a Humean theory of laws. In fact, only a metaphysics roughly in line with Lewis’s will do. The paper ends with a tentative generalization of this result, thus pointing to the ‘limit’ of Humeanism in general: taking the Humean way of thinking to its limit results in a rejection of the whole idea of such a mosaic – and hence of Humean mosaic-based accounts of anything.
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-018-0205-9
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References found in this work BETA

Humean Supervenience Debugged.David K. Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
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Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):642-647.
Time and Chance.S. French - 2005 - Mind 114 (453):113-116.
Parts of Classes.David K. Lewis - 1991 - Mind 100 (3):394-397.

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Citations of this work BETA

Varieties of Power.Jesse M. Mulder - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-17.

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