Erkenntnis 57 (3):351Ð372 (2002)

Gerhard Schurz
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
It has not been sufficiently considered in philosophical discussions of ceteris paribus (CP) laws that distinct kinds of CP-laws exist in science with rather different meanings. I distinguish between (1.) comparative CP-laws and (2.) exclusive CP-laws. There exist also mixed CP-laws, which contain a comparative and an exclusive CP-clause. Exclusive CP-laws may be either (2.1) definite, (2.2) indefinite or (2.3) normic. While CP-laws of kind (2.1) and (2.2) exhibit deductivistic behaviour, CP-laws of kind (2.3) require a probabilistic or non-monotonic reconstruction. CP-laws of kind (1) may be both deductivistic or probabilistic. All these kinds of CP-laws have empirical content by which they are testable, except CP-laws of kind (2.2) which are almost vacuous. Typically, CP-laws of kind (1) express invariant correlations, CP-laws of kind (2.1) express closed system laws of physical sciences, and CP-laws of kind (2.3) express normic laws of non-physical sciences based on evolution-theoretic stability properties.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1021582327947
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,046
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes.Imre Lakatos - 1970 - In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 91-196.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Ceteris Paribus Laws in Physics.Andreas Hüttemann - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1715-1728.
Mechanisms and Downward Causation.Max Kistler - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):595-609.

View all 45 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ceteris Paribus Laws.Stephen Schiffer - 1991 - Mind 100 (397):1-17.
Horgan and Tienson on Ceteris Paribus Laws.Marcello Guarini - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):301-315.
Dispositions and Ceteris Paribus Laws.Alice Drewery - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):723-733.
In Defense of Psychological Laws.Martin Carrier - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):217 – 232.
Pietroski and Rey on Ceteris Paribus Laws.Gerhard Schurz - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (2):359Ð370.


Added to PP index

Total views
79 ( #137,358 of 2,454,486 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,269 of 2,454,486 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes