Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457 (2010)

Authors
John Roberts
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Laws of nature are puzzling because they have a 'modal character'—they seem to be 'necessary-ish'—even though they also seem to be metaphysically contingent. And it is hard to understand how contingent truths could have such a modal character. Scientific essentialism is a doctrine that seems to dissolve this puzzle, by showing that laws of nature are actually metaphysically necessary. I argue that even if the metaphysics of natural kinds and properties offered by scientific essentialism is correct, there are still some metaphysically contingent truths that share the modal character of the laws of nature. I argue that these contingent truths should be considered laws of nature. So even if scientific essentialism is true, at least some laws of nature are metaphysically contingent
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DOI 10.1080/00048400903159016
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.

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Citations of this work BETA

Counterfactuals and Modal Epistemology.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2012 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 86 (1):93–115.
The Modal Status of Laws: In Defence of a Hybrid View.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):509-528.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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