Results for 'Laws of Nature'

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  1. What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on (...)
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    Laws and Lawmakers Science, Metaphysics, and the Laws of Nature.Marc Lange - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Laws form counterfactually stable sets -- Natural necessity -- Three payoffs of my account -- A world of subjunctives.
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  3. Laws of Nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
    It is a traditional empiricist doctrine that natural laws are universal truths. In order to overcome the obvious difficulties with this equation most empiricists qualify it by proposing to equate laws with universal truths that play a certain role, or have a certain function, within the larger scientific enterprise. This view is examined in detail and rejected; it fails to account for a variety of features that laws are acknowledged to have. An alternative view is advanced in (...)
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    Laws of Nature, Laws of Physics, and the Representational Account of Theories.R. I. G. Hughes - 1998 - ProtoSociology 12:113-143.
  5. Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author (...)
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  6. Laws of Nature, Explanation, and Semantic Circularity.Erica Shumener - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):787-815.
    Humeans and anti-Humeans agree that laws of nature should explain scientifically particular matters of fact. One objection to Humean accounts of laws contends that Humean laws cannot explain particular matters of fact because their explanations are harmfully circular. This article distinguishes between metaphysical and semantic characterizations of the circularity and argues for a new semantic version of the circularity objection. The new formulation suggests that Humean explanations are harmfully circular because the content of the sentences being (...)
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  7. Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (8):1-10.
    Humeanism about laws of nature is, roughly, the view that the laws of nature are just patterns, or ways of describing patterns, in the mosaic of events. In this paper I survey some of the (many!) objections that have been raised to Humeanism, considering how the Humean might respond. And I consider how we might make a positive case for Humeanism. The common thread running through all this is that the viability of the Humean view relies (...)
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  8. The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature.I. Prigogine - 1997 - Free Press.
    [Time, the fundamental dimension of our existence, has fascinated artists, philosophers, and scientists of every culture and every century. All of us can remember a moment as a child when time became a personal reality, when we realized what a "year" was, or asked ourselves when "now" happened. Common sense says time moves forward, never backward, from cradle to grave. Nevertheless, Einstein said that time is an illusion. Nature's laws, as he and Newton defined them, describe a timeless, (...)
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  9. Platonic Laws of Nature.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):365-381.
    David Armstrong accepted the following three theses: universals are immanent, laws are relations between universals, and laws govern. Taken together, they form an attractive position, for they promise to explain regularities in nature—one of the most important desiderata for a theory of laws and properties—while remaining compatible with naturalism. However, I argue that the three theses are incompatible. The basic idea is that each thesis makes an explanatory claim, but the three claims can be shown to (...)
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    Laws of Nature, Laws of Freedom, and the Social Construction of Normativity.Kenneth Walden - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 7:37.
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  11. Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.
    John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author (...)
     
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  12.  68
    The Governance of Laws of Nature: Guidance and Production.Tobias Wilsch - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):909-933.
    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 (...) 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. (shrink)
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    What is a Law of Nature?David M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    First published in 1985, D. M. Armstrong's original work on what laws of nature are has continued to be influential in the areas of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Presenting a definitive attack on the sceptical Humean view, that laws are no more than a regularity of coincidence between stances of properties, Armstrong establishes his own theory and defends it concisely and systematically against objections. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface (...)
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  14.  42
    Laws of Nature or Panpsychism?Joel Dolbeault - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (1-2):87-110.
    The idea that there are ‘laws of nature’ is a widespread scientific opinion. On the one hand, I argue that this idea has the crucial function to explain the obvious similarities of physical processes. On the other hand, I show that this idea can be replaced by the hypothesis supporting that a minimal consciousness immanent to matter governs its processes. This latter hypothesis may seem surprising, but compared to that of laws, it is more empirical in the (...)
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  15. Are Laws of Nature Consistent with Contingency?Nancy Cartwright & Pedro Merlussi - 2018 - In Walter Ott & Lydia Patton (eds.), Laws of Nature. Oxford, UK:
    Are the laws of nature consistent with contingency about what happens in the world? That depends on what the laws of nature actually are, but it also depends on what they are like. The latter is the concern of this chapter, which looks at three views that are widely endorsed: ‘Humean’ regularity accounts, laws as relations among universals, and disposition/powers accounts. Given an account of what laws are, what follows about how much contingency, and (...)
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  16.  15
    Laws of Nature.Walter Ott & Lydia Patton - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What is the origin of the concept of a law of nature? How much does it owe to theology and metaphysics? To what extent do the laws of nature permit contingency? Are there exceptions to the laws of nature? Is it possible to give a reductive analysis of lawhood, or is it a primitive? -/- Twelve brand-new essays by an international team of leading philosophers take up these and other central questions on the laws (...)
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  17. Laws of Nature Don't Have Ceteris Paribus Clauses, They Are Ceteris Paribus Clauses.Travis Dumsday - 2013 - Ratio 26 (2):134-147.
    Laws of nature are properly (if controversially) conceived as abstract entities playing a governing role in the physical universe. Dispositionalists typically hold that laws of nature are not real, or at least are not fundamental, and that regularities in the physical universe are grounded in the causal powers of objects. By contrast, I argue that dispositionalism implies nomic realism: since at least some dispositions have ceteris paribus clauses incorporating uninstantiated universals, and these ceteris paribus clauses help (...)
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  18. Causation and Laws of Nature : Reductionism.Jonathon Schaffer - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 82-107.
    Causation and the laws of nature are nothing over and above the pattern of events, just like a movie is nothing over and above the sequence of frames. Or so I will argue. The position I will argue for is broadly inspired by Hume and Lewis, and may be expressed in the slogan: what must be, must be grounded in what is.
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  19. Monsters, Laws of Nature, and Teleology in Late Scholastic Textbooks.Silvia Manzo - 2019 - In Pietro Omodeo & Rodolfo Garau (eds.), Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science. Springer Verlag. pp. 61-92.
    In the period of emergence of early modern science, ‘monsters’ or individuals with physical congenital anomalies were considered as rare events which required special explanations entailing assumptions about the laws of nature. This concern with monsters was shared by representatives of the new science and Late Scholastic authors of university textbooks. This paper will reconstruct the main theses of the treatment of monsters in Late Scholastic textbooks, by focusing on the question as to how their accounts conceived (...)’s regularity and teleology. It shows that they developed a naturalistic teratology in which, in contrast to the naturalistic explanations usually offered by the new science, finality was at central stage. This general point does not impede our noticing that some authors were closer to the views emerging in the Scientific Revolution insofar as they conceived nature as relatively autonomous from God and gave a relevant place to efficient secondary causation. In this connection, this paper suggests that the concept of the laws of nature developed by the new science –as exception-less regularities—transferred to nature’s regularity the ‘strong’ character that Late Scholasticism attributed to finality and that the decline of the Late Scholastic view of finality played as an important concomitant factor permitting the transformation of the concept of laws of nature. (shrink)
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    Laws of Nature: The Empiricist Challenge.John Earman - 1984 - In Radu J. Bogdan (ed.). Springer Verlag. pp. 191-223.
    Hume defined ‘cause’ three times over. The two principal definitions (constant conjunction, felt determination) provide the anchors for the two main strands of the modem empiricist accounts of laws of nature 1 while the third (the counter factual definition 2) may be seen as the inspiration of the nonHumean necessitarian analyses. Corresponding to the felt determination definition is the account of laws that emphasizes human attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Latter day weavers of this strand include Nelson Goodman, (...)
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  21. Laws of Nature‘ as an Indexical Term: A Reinterpretation of Lewis’s Best-System Analysis.John T. Roberts - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):511.
    David Lewis's best-system analysis of laws of nature is perhaps the best known sophisticated regularity theory of laws. Its strengths are widely recognized, even by some of its ablest critics. Yet it suffers from what appears to be a glaring weakness: It seems to grant an arbitrary privilege to the standards of our own scientific culture. I argue that by reformulating, or reinterpreting, Lewis's exposition of the best-system analysis, we arrive at a view that is free of (...)
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  22. Powers, Dispositions and Laws of Nature.Max Kistler - 2020 - In Meincke (ed.), Dispositionalism: Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science (Synthese Library). Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 171-188.
    Metaphysics should follow science in postulating laws alongside properties. I defend this claim against the claim that natural properties conceived as powers make laws of nature redundant. Natural properties can be construed in a “thin” or a “thick” way. If one attributes a property in the thin sense to an object, this attribution does not conceptually determine which other properties the object possesses. The thin construal is underlying the scientific strategy for understanding nature piecemeal. Science explains (...)
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  23. Some Laws of Nature Are Metaphysically Contingent.John T. Roberts - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457.
    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, (...)
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  24. Schaffer on Laws of Nature.Alastair Wilson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):653-667.
    In ‘Quiddistic Knowledge’ (Schaffer in Philos Stud 123:1–32, 2005), Jonathan Schaffer argued influentially against the view that the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. In this reply I aim to show how a coherent and well-motivated form of necessitarianism can withstand his critique. Modal necessitarianism—the view that the actual laws are the laws of all possible worlds—can do justice to some intuitive motivations for necessitarianism, and it has the resources to respond to all of Schaffer’s objections. (...)
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    Laws of Nature and Nomic Necessity.Michela Massimi - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur Und Freiheit. Akten des Xii. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 397-414.
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    Fundamental Laws of Nature and Picture of the World.Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Somsikov & Svetlana Nikolaevna Azarenko - 2021 - Open Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):292-306.
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    Laws of Nature.Norman Swartz - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):971-973.
  28. Are Laws of Nature and Scientific Theories Peculiar in Chemistry? Scrutinizing Mendeleev's Discovery.R. Vihalemm - 2003 - Foundations of Chemistry 5 (1):7-22.
    The problem of the peculiarcharacter of chemical laws and theories is a central topic in philosophy of chemistry. Oneof the most characteristic and, at the sametime, most puzzling examples in discussions onchemical laws and theories is Mendeleev''speriodic law. This law seems to be essentiallydifferent in its nature from the exact laws ofclassical physics, the latter being usuallyregarded as a paradigm of science byphilosophers. In this paper the main argumentsconcerning the peculiar character of chemicallaws and theories are (...)
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    Breaking Laws of Nature.Jeffrey Koperski - 2017 - Philosophia Christi 19 (1):83-101.
    One of the main arguments against interventionist views of special divine action is that God would not violate his own laws. But if intervention entails the breaking of natural law, what precisely is being broken? While the nature of the laws of nature has been widely explored by philosophers of science, important distinctions are often ignored in the science and religion literature. In this paper, I consider the three main approaches to laws: Humean anti-realism, supervenience (...)
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  30.  42
    Determinism, Laws of Nature and the Consequence Argument.Pedro Merlussi - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (1):73-95.
    Scott Sehon argues that the conception of determinism employed in the Consequence Argument is implausible because it rules out the logical possibility of the laws of nature being violated. Sehon says, for instance, that determinism is incompatible with the logical possibility of an interventionist God. His objection to the Consequence Argument boils down to a way of reading the box in what is implied by van Inwagen's conception of determinism. Sehon reads the box as logical necessity, and this (...)
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    Laws of Nature: Essays on the Philosophical, Scientific and Historical Dimensions.Friedel Weinert (ed.) - 1995 - De Gruyter.
  32.  8
    Essays on the Law of Nature.John Locke - 1954 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.
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    Compressibility, Laws of Nature, Initial Conditions and Complexity.Sergio Chibbaro & Angelo Vulpiani - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (10):1368-1386.
    We critically analyse the point of view for which laws of nature are just a mean to compress data. Discussing some basic notions of dynamical systems and information theory, we show that the idea that the analysis of large amount of data by means of an algorithm of compression is equivalent to the knowledge one can have from scientific laws, is rather naive. In particular we discuss the subtle conceptual topic of the initial conditions of phenomena which (...)
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    What Price Changing Laws of Nature?Olivier Sartenaer, Alexandre Guay & Paul Humphreys - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
    In this paper, we show that it is not a conceptual truth about laws of nature that they are immutable. In order to do so, we survey three popular accounts of lawhood— necessitarianism, dispositionalism and ‘best system analysis’—and expose the extent, as well as the philosophical cost, of the amendments that should be enforced in order to leave room for the possibility of changing laws.
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  35. Laws of Nature[REVIEW]Michael Tooley - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (1):119.
    In this book, John Carroll argues for the following two anti-reductionist theses.
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  36. Laws and Meta-Laws of Nature: Conservation Laws and Symmetries.Marc Lange - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):457-481.
    Symmetry principles are commonly said to explain conservation laws—and were so employed even by Lagrange and Hamilton, long before Noether's theorem. But within a Hamiltonian framework, the conservation laws likewise entail the symmetries. Why, then, are symmetries explanatorily prior to conservation laws? I explain how the relation between ordinary (i.e., first-order) laws and the facts they govern (a relation involving counterfactuals) may be reproduced one level higher: as a relation between symmetries and the ordinary laws (...)
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  37. Regulatities, Laws of Nature, and the Existance of God.John Foster - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (2):145–161.
    The regularities in nature, simply by being regularities, call for explanation. There are only two ways in which we could, with any plausibility, try to explain them. One way would be to suppose that they are imposed on the world by God. The other would be to suppose that they reflect the presence of laws of nature, conceived of as forms of natural necessity. But the only way of making sense of the notion of a law of (...)
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  38.  37
    Laws of Nature, Natural Properties, and the Robustly Best System.Michela Massimi - 2017 - The Monist 100 (3):406-421.
    This paper addresses a famous objection against David Lewis’s Best System Analysis (BSA) of laws of nature. The objection—anticipated and discussed by Lewis (1994)—focuses on the standards of simplicity and strength being (in part) a matter of psychology. Lewis’s answer to the objection relies on his metaphysics of natural properties and its ability to single out the robustly best system, a system that is expected to come out far ahead of its rivals under any standard of simplicity and (...)
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  39. Laws of Nature and the Reality of the Wave Function.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201.
    In this paper I review three different positions on the wave function, namely: nomological realism, dispositionalism, and configuration space realism by regarding as essential their capacity to account for the world of our experience. I conclude that the first two positions are committed to regard the wave function as an abstract entity. The third position will be shown to be a merely speculative attempt to derive a primitive ontology from a reified mathematical space. Without entering any discussion about nominalism, I (...)
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  40.  63
    Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy.Walter Ott - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
  41. Laws of Nature and Causal Necessity.Michael Friedman - 2014 - Kant-Studien 105 (4):531-553.
  42. Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
    Humeanism about laws of nature — the view that the laws reduce to the Humean mosaic — is a popular view, but currently existing versions face powerful objections. The non-supervenience objection, the non-fundamentality objection and the explanatory circularity objection have all been thought to cause problems for the Humean. However, these objections share a guiding thought — they are all based on the idea that there is a certain kind of divergence between the practice of science and (...)
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  43. Towards a Best Predictive System Account of Laws of Nature.Chris Dorst - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):877-900.
    This article argues for a revised best system account of laws of nature. David Lewis’s original BSA has two main elements. On the one hand, there is the Humean base, which is the totality of particular matters of fact that obtain in the history of the universe. On the other hand, there is what I call the ‘nomic formula’, which is a particular operation that gets applied to the Humean base in order to output the laws of (...)
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  44. Laws of Nature Outlawed.Stephen Mumford - 1998 - Dialectica 52 (2):83–101.
    SummaryThere are two rival ways in which events in the world can be explained: the covering law way and the dispositionalist way. The covering law model, which takes the law of nature as its fundamental explanatory unit, faces a number of renown difficulties. Rather than attempt to patch up this approach, the alternative dispositionalist strategy is recommended. On this view, general facts are dependent upon particular facts about what things do, rather than vice versa. This way of viewing the (...)
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  45. Humean Reductionism About Laws of Nature.Ned Hall - 2009
  46.  62
    Hobbes and the Law of Nature.Perez Zagorin - 2009 - Princeton University Press.
    This is the first major work in English to explore at length the meaning, context, aims, and vital importance of Thomas Hobbes's concepts of the law of nature..
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  47.  58
    What is a Law of Nature?Mark Wilson - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (3):435-441.
  48. Can Mechanisms Really Replace Laws of Nature?Bert Leuridan - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (3):317-340.
    Today, mechanisms and mechanistic explanation are very popular in philosophy of science and are deemed a welcome alternative to laws of nature and deductive‐nomological explanation. Starting from Mitchell's pragmatic notion of laws, I cast doubt on their status as a genuine alternative. I argue that (1) all complex‐systems mechanisms ontologically must rely on stable regularities, while (2) the reverse need not hold. Analogously, (3) models of mechanisms must incorporate pragmatic laws, while (4) such laws themselves (...)
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  49. Kant and the Laws of Nature.Michela Massimi & Angela Breitenbach (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    Laws of nature play a central role in Kant's theoretical philosophy and are crucial to understanding his philosophy of science in particular. In this volume of new essays, the first systematic investigation of its kind, a distinguished team of scholars explores Kant's views on the laws of nature in the physical and life sciences. Their essays focus particularly on the laws of physics and biology, and consider topics including the separation in Kant's treatment of the (...)
     
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  50. Laws of Nature.Norman Swartz - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    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 (...)
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