Synthese 144 (3):433-447 (2005)

John Roberts
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
I propose and motivate a new account of fundamental physical laws, the Measurability Account of Laws (MAL). This account has a distinctive logical form, in that it takes the primary nomological concept to be that of a law relative to a given theory, and defines a law simpliciter as a law relative to some true theory. What makes a proposition a law relative to a theory is that it plays an indispensable role in demonstrating that some quantity posited by that theory is measurable. In Section 1, I motivate the project of seeking a philosophical account of fundamental physical laws, as opposed to laws of nature in general. In Section 2, I motivate seeking an account with the distinctive logical form of the MAL. In Section 3, I present the MAL and illustrate the way it works by applying it to a simple example.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-005-5875-0
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References found in this work BETA

What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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Citations of this work BETA

Logic in Reality.Joseph Brenner - 2008 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
Laws and Lawlessness.Stephen Mumford - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):397-413.

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