Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):509-528 (2015)
AbstractThree popular views regarding the modal status of the laws of nature are discussed: Humean Supervenience, nomic necessitation, and scientific/dispositional essentialism. These views are examined especially with regard to their take on the apparent modal force of laws and their ability to explain that modal force. It will be suggested that none of the three views, at least in their strongest form, can be maintained if some laws are metaphysically necessary, but others are metaphysically contingent. Some reasons for thinking that such variation in the modal status of laws exists will be presented with reference to physics. This drives us towards a fourth, hybrid view, according to which there are both necessary and contingent laws. The prospects for such a view are studied.
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Citations of this work
Laws of Nature: Necessary and Contingent.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):875-895.
What Price Changing Laws of Nature?Olivier Sartenaer, Alexandre Guay & Paul Humphreys - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
References found in this work
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.