Download Laws in Nature (Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century by Stephen Mumford PDF

By Stephen Mumford

Mumford outlines an immense new idea of average legislation. His e-book starts off with the query of no matter if there are any certainly law-like phenomena in nature. The dialogue addresses questions at present being debated by way of metaphysicians equivalent to even if the legislation of nature are invaluable or contingent and even if a estate should be pointed out independently of its causal function.

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Extra resources for Laws in Nature (Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century Philosophy)

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Taken on its own grounds, however, nothing can be done to reject the theory. This means that the regularity theory might seem a good account of laws to someone who has not reflected on its metaphysical basis or might not be even aware that the view has such a metaphysical basis. What is so good about the regularity view? Presumably something about it must be. Its advantages, I surmise, are its consistency and coherence – which allow it to shrug off almost all of the standard criticisms – and an arguable compatibility with the empirical sciences.

This opens up the possibility of middle ground between Humeanism and those who argue for real laws in nature. Humeanism, as I have urged in this chapter, is a lawless metaphysics. To focus on the issue of laws, we can call the position Humean lawlessness or HL. Those who argue for laws, and thus against HL, have a position we may call nomological realism or NR. The position in between, I will call realist lawlessness or RL. 2), above – but also a denial of laws. 3) (which was The lawless world 29 accepted) and there is no other justification for it.

2 I think that this account of the regularity theory best develops the metaphysical core around which it is built and, as will be argued below, has the best prospect of avoiding the standard objections that have been directed against the theory. I do not, however, claim complete historical accuracy for the account. I think that some regularity theorists have indeed treated their theory as a theory of laws but I also think that this was a mistake. A further source of confusion, however, is that some Humeans will sometimes allow an attenuated sense of law and causation, which will be the same as the traditional concepts but minus the necessity.

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