Philosophical Studies 178 (3):909-933 (2021)

Tobias Wilsch
University Tübingen
Realists about laws of nature and their Humean opponents disagree on whether laws ‘govern’. An independent commitment to the ‘governing conception’ of laws pushes many towards the realist camp. Despite its significance, however, no satisfactory account of governance has been offered. The goal of this article is to develop such an account. I base my account on two claims. First, we should distinguish two notions of governance, ‘guidance’ and ‘production’, and secondly, explanatory phenomena other than laws are also candidates for governance. My goal is to develop a unified account which captures both guidance and production as well as the governance of phenomena, such as essence and logical consequence. The account of governance I develop belongs to the family of modal accounts, which was popularized by David Armstrong, but it also employs essentialist resources. If successful, this modal-essentialist account not only reveals the costs that proponents of governance incur, but it also puts that important notion on a solid theoretical foundation.
Keywords Laws of Nature  Governing Conception  Necessity  Explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-020-01465-4
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (8):1-10.
Non‐Humean Theories of Natural Necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):1-1.
The Power to Govern.Erica Shumener - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
Grounding Functionalism and Explanatory Unificationism.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
The laws of modality.Matthew Tugby - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2597-2618.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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