Results for 'laws of nature'

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  1. Laws of Nature.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2024 - In A. R. J. Fisher & Anna-Sofia Maurin (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Properties. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 337-346.
    Properties have an important role in specifying different views on laws of nature: virtually any position on laws will make some reference to properties, and some of the leading views even reduce laws to properties. This chapter will first outline what laws of nature are typically taken to be and then specify their connection to properties in more detail. We then move on to consider three different accounts of properties: natural, essential, and dispositional properties, (...)
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  2. Laws of Nature: do we need a metaphysics?Michel Ghins - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):127-150.
    In this paper, I briefly present the regularity and necessity views and assess their difficulties. I construe scientific laws as universal propositions satisfied by empirically successful scientific models and made — approximately — true by the real systems represented, albeit partially, by these models. I also conceive a scientific theory as a set of models together with a set of propositions, some of which are laws. A scientific law is a universal proposition or statement that belongs to a (...)
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  3. 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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  4.  19
    Laws of Nature and their Supporting Casts.Travis McKenna - unknown
    It is an underappreciated fact within the philosophical literature on laws of nature that many scientific laws require the aid of a supporting cast of additional modelling ingredients (such as boundary conditions, material parameters, interfacial stipulations, rigidity constraints, and so on) in order to perform their traditional role in scientific inquiry. In this paper, I suggest that this underappreciated fact spells trouble for some recent reformulations of David Lewis's Best Systems Account (BSA) of laws of (...). Under the auspices of 'pragmatic Humeanism,' several philosophers have recently argued that the criteria of strength and simplicity that lay at the heart of Lewis's original formulation should be replaced with alternatives that are more sensitive to the role that laws play in scientific practice. Although the criteria that these philosophers put forward differ in a variety of ways, they are primarily concerned with the ability of laws to furnish us with predictions and encode information. This, I suggest, is a problem. If it is true that many scientific laws do not on their own perform some of the roles with which they are traditionally associated, then they are unlikely in isolation to make meaningful contributions to the predictive strength of a system or encode information about particular systems. Such laws are thus unlikely to end up in the best system, and so these accounts will have trouble conferring lawhood upon them. (shrink)
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  5.  59
    Laws of Nature.Tyler Hildebrand - 2023 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This Element provides an opinionated introduction to the metaphysics of laws of nature. The first section distinguishes between scientific and philosophical questions about laws and describes some criteria for a philosophical account of laws. Subsequent sections explore the leading philosophical theories in detail, reviewing the most influential arguments in the literature. The final few sections assess the state of the field and suggest avenues for future research.
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    Laws of Nature.Walter R. 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 (...)
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    Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - New York: 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11.  92
    Laws of Nature and Free Will.Pedro Merlussi - 2017 - Dissertation, Durham University
    This thesis investigates the conceptual relationship between laws of nature and free will. In order to clarify the discussion, I begin by distinguishing several questions with respect to the nature of a law: i) do the laws of nature cover everything that happens? ii) are they deterministic? iii) can there be exceptions to universal and deterministic laws? iv) do the laws of nature govern everything in the world? In order to answer these (...)
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15.  85
    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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  16. 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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  17. What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Sydney Shoemaker.
    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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  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. Laws of nature.John R. Milton - 1998 - In Daniel Garber & Michael Ayers (eds.), The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1--680.
     
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  20. 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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  21.  61
    The Metaphysics of Laws of Nature: The Rules of the Game.Walter Ott - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    It can seem obvious that we live in a world governed by laws of nature, yet it was not until the seventeenth century that the concept of a law came to the fore. Ever since, it has been attended by controversy: what does it mean to say that Boyle's law governs the expansion of a gas, or that the planets obey the law of gravity? Laws are rules that permit calculations and predictions. What does the universe have (...)
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  22.  9
    Laws of nature.Rom Harré - 1993 - Newburyport MA: Distributed in USA by Focus Information Group.
  23. The governance of laws of nature: guidance and production.Tobias Wilsch - 2020 - 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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  24.  94
    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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  25. 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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  26.  54
    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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  27.  42
    The consequence argument and the possibility of the laws of nature being violated.Pedro Merlussi - forthcoming - Philosophia.
    Brian Cutter objected to the consequence argument due to its dependence on the principle that miracle workers are metaphysically impossible. A miracle worker is someone who has the ability to act in a way such that the laws of nature would be violated. While there is something to the thought that agents like us do not have this ability, Cutter claims that there is no compelling reason to regard miracle workers as metaphysically impossible. However, the paper contends that (...)
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  28.  34
    Natural Law and Natural Inclinations.Natural Law, Natural Inclinations & Douglas Flippen - 1986 - New Scholasticism 60 (3):284-316.
  29. 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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  30. 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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  31.  26
    Kant and the Laws of Nature.Michela Massimi & Angela Breitenbach (eds.) - 2017 - New York: 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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  32. Laws of nature.Toby Handfield - 2010 - A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand.
    A short piece on laws of nature, focusing on "Australian" contributions to the topic, such as the views of Armstrong, Tooley, Lewis, and Ellis.
     
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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35.  80
    Causation and laws of nature in early modern philosophy.Walter Ott - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
  36. Laws of Nature.Rom Harré - 1995 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 185 (3):362-363.
  37.  40
    Laws of nature: essays on the philosophical, scientific and historical dimensions.Friedel Weinert (ed.) - 1995 - New York: Walter de Gruyter.
  38.  52
    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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  39.  59
    Laws of nature, causation, and supervenience.Michael Tooley (ed.) - 1999 - New York: 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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  40. Laws of nature, exceptions and tropes.Max Kistler - 2003 - Philosophia Scientiae 7 (2):189-219.
    I propose a realist theory of laws formulated in terms of tropes that avoids both the problems of the "best-systems-analysis" and the "inference problem" of realism of universals. I analyze the concept of an exceptional situation, characterized as a situation in which a particular object satisfies the antecedent but not the consequent of the regularity associated with a law, without thereby falsifying that law. To take this possibility into account, the properties linked by a law must be conceived as (...)
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  41. Laws of Nature Don't Have_ Ceteris Paribus Clauses, They _Are Ceteris Paribus Clauses.Travis Dumsday - 2012 - 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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  42. Laws of nature: a structural approach.F. Weinert - 1993 - Philosophia Naturalis 30 (2):147-171.
     
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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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  46. Explaining laws of nature: A metaphysical investigation into the natural principles governing the universe.Siegfried Jaag - 2015 - Dissertation,
  47. Laws of nature.Peter Smith - manuscript
    Where to begin? I’ll take three books from my shelves. First, now nearly forty years old, a little book of television lectures by the great physicist Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law. He talks about the laws of motion, the inverse square law of gravitation, conservation laws, symmetry principles and the various ways these all hang together. Feynman obviously takes it that it is a prime aim of science to discover such laws. But what are (...)? He writes – and this is about his one and only shot at a characterization at the level of abstraction that we might think of as philosophical –. (shrink)
     
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    Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action.Robert J. Russell, Nancey C. Murphy & C. J. Isham (eds.) - 1993 - Vatican Observatory.
    This collection of research papers explores the implications of quantum cosmology and the status of the laws of nature for theological and philosophical issues regarding God's action in the world. The main goal is to contribute to constructive theology as it engages current research in the natural sciences, and to investigate the philosophical and theological elements in ongoing theoretical research in the natural sciences.
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  49.  11
    The Laws of Nature and Creation of the Universe ex Nihilo.Mirsaeid Mousavi Karimi - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 25 (1):75-96.
    The idea of “creatio ex nihilo” entered the arena of natural science with the advent of modern cosmology in the mid-twentieth century. This idea, that is, the creation of the universe out of nothing, seems to be a consequence of the widely accepted Big Bang Theory which implies the temporal finitude of the world. In order to avoid the theological and metaphysical implications of such an idea, some scenarios and scientific models have been proposed. According to one of the scenarios, (...)
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  50. Laws of Nature.John Carroll - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (4):603-609.
     
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