Laws of nature

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2001)

Abstract
Within metaphysics, there are two competing theories of Laws of Nature. On one account, the Regularity Theory, Laws of Nature are statements of the uniformities or regularities in the world; they are mere descriptions of the way the world is. On the other account, the Necessitarian Theory, Laws of Nature are the “principles” which govern the natural phenomena of the world. That is, the natural world “obeys” the Laws of Nature. This seemingly innocuous difference marks one of the most profound gulfs within contemporary philosophy, and has quite unexpected, and wide-ranging, implications
Keywords accidental truths  accidentally true generalizations  cause  conditional  coincidence  David Hume  description  determinism  doom  explanation  failure
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DOI ppr199757495
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