Results for 'laws of nature'

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  1. 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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    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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  3.  46
    Laws of Nature as Constraints.Emily Adlam - 2022 - Foundations of Physics 52 (1):1-41.
    The laws of nature have come a long way since the time of Newton: quantum mechanics and relativity have given us good reasons to take seriously the possibility of laws which may be non-local, atemporal, ‘all-at-once,’ retrocausal, or in some other way not well-suited to the standard dynamical time evolution paradigm. Laws of this kind can be accommodated within a Humean approach to lawhood, but many extant non-Humean approaches face significant challenges when we try to apply (...)
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    Laws of Nature[REVIEW]Norman Swartz - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):971-973.
  5. What is a Law of Nature?D. 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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  6. Regularities, Natural Patterns and Laws of Nature.Stathis Psillos - 2014 - Theoria 29 (1):9-27.
    The goal of this paper is to sketch an empiricist metaphysics of laws of nature. The key idea is that there are regularities without regularity-enforcers. Differently put, there are natural laws without law-makers _of a distinct metaphysical kind_. This sketch will rely on the concept of a natural pattern and more significantly on the existence of a network of natural patterns in nature. The relation between a regularity and a pattern will be analysed in terms of (...)
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9.  25
    Laws of Nature.Walter Ott & Lydia Patton (eds.) - 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 (...)
  10.  16
    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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  11. 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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  12. 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.
    This chapter develops a theory of categorical normativity, of those principles that have authority over us regardless of our ends and interests. It argues that there is an intimate connection between these norms and the conditions of agency. In this respect, it offers a version of constitutivism. But the version of constitutivism defended is unique in a few respects. First, it is naturalistic: agency is an emergent property, like the properties of biology and economics. Second, it is social: agency is (...)
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  14.  17
    What is a Law of Nature?David 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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  15. ARMSTRONG, D. M. What is a Law of Nature[REVIEW]Mary Tiles - 1985 - Philosophy 60:557.
  16. 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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  17. Laws of Nature” as an Indexical Term: A Reinterpretation of Lewis's Best-System Analysis.John 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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  18. The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature.Samuel Pufendorf - 2003 - Liberty Fund.
  19. 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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  20. 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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  21.  46
    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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  22.  69
    Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy.Walter Ott - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
  23. Laws of Nature.John Carroll - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (4):603-609.
     
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  24. Laws of Nature: Necessary and Contingent.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper shows how a niche account of the metaphysics of laws of nature and physical properties—the Powers-BSA—can underpin both a sense in which the laws are metaphysically necessary and a sense in which it is true that the laws could have been different. The ability to reconcile entrenched disagreement should count in favour of a philosophical theory, so this paper constitutes a novel argument for the Powers-BSA by showing how it can reconcile disagreement about the (...)
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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. Laws of Nature: The Empiricist Challenge.John Earman - 1984 - In Radu J. Bogdan (ed.), Laws of Nature: The Empiricist Challenge. 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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  28. Revaluing Laws of Nature in Secularized Science.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2022 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking the Concept of Law of Nature: Natural Order in the Light of Contemporary Science. Springer. pp. 347-377.
    Discovering laws of nature was a way to worship a law-giving God, during the Scientific Revolution. So why should we consider it worthwhile now, in our own more secularized science? For historical perspective, I examine two competing early modern theological traditions that related laws of nature to different divine attributes, and their secular legacy in views ranging from Kant and Nietzsche to Humean and ‘governing’ accounts in recent analytic metaphysics. Tracing these branching offshoots of ethically charged (...)
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    Laws of Nature: Necessary and Contingent.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):875-895.
    This paper shows how a niche account of the metaphysics of laws of nature and physical properties—the Powers-BSA—can underpin both a sense in which the laws are metaphysically necessary and a sense in which it is true that the laws could have been different. The ability to reconcile entrenched disagreement should count in favour of a philosophical theory, so this paper constitutes a novel argument for the Powers-BSA by showing how it can reconcile disagreement about the (...)
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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32.  92
    General Laws of Nature and the Uniqueness of the Universe.Erhard Scheibe - 1991 - In Evandro Agazzi & Alberto Cordero (eds.), Philosophy and the Origin and Evolution of the Universe. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 341--360.
    It seems a generally acknowledged view that physics is confined to the investigation of events that can be reproduced. “The natural scientist — says Pauli1 — is concerned with a particular kind of phenomena … he has to confine himself to that which is reproducible… I do not claim that the reproducible by itself is more important than the unique. But I do claim that the unique exceeds the treatment by scientific method. Indeed it is the aim of this method (...)
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  33.  17
    Laws of Nature.Norman Swartz - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):971-973.
  34.  68
    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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. Causation and Laws of Nature.Howard Sankey (ed.) - 1999 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    This is a collection of articles which represents current research on the metaphysics of causation and laws of nature, mostly by authors working in or active in the Australasian region. The book provides an overview of current work on the theory of causation, including counterfactual, singularist, nomological and causal process approaches. It also covers work on the nature of laws of nature, with special emphasis on the scientific essentialist theory that laws of nature (...)
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  38.  42
    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 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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  40. Dispositional Essentialism and the Laws of Nature.Barbara Vetter - 2012 - In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge.
  41. Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 12. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 164–202.
    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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  42.  32
    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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  43.  19
    Laws of Nature and Theory Choice.Alessandro Torza - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-28.
    I articulate a Global Best-System Account (GBSA) of laws of nature along broadly Mill–Ramsey–Lewis lines. The guiding idea is that the job of laws is to capture real patterns across time—where a pattern is real if it allows to compress information about matters of particular fact. The GBSA’s key ingredient is a definition of ‘best system’ in terms of a ranking method that meets a number of desiderata: it is rigorously defined; it outputs the ranking based on (...)
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  44. Laws of Nature and Causal Necessity.Michael Friedman - 2014 - Kant Studien 105 (4):531-553.
  45.  51
    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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  46.  96
    Laws of Nature Versus System Laws.Gerhard Schurz - 2005 - In Jan Faye, Paul Needham, Uwe Scheffler & Max Urchs (eds.), Nature's Principles. Springer. pp. 255--268.
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  47. 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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    Laws of Nature, Causation, and Supervenience.Michael Tooley (ed.) - 1999 - Garland.
    condition T. Moreover, such a characterization would be perfectly compatible with the possibility of there being events that were causally related, ...
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  49.  38
    Laws of Nature: Essays on the Philosophical, Scientific and Historical Dimensions.Friedel Weinert (ed.) - 1995 - De Gruyter.
  50. Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action.R. J. Russell, N. Murphy & C. J. Isham (eds.) - 1993 - Vatican Observatory.
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