Humeanism and Nonhumeanism about Laws

Edited by Markus Schrenk (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
Assistant editor: Daian Bica (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
About this topic
Summary Anti-Humeans have the feeling that natural laws govern the events in the world: what a law says must happen (or, what a law forbids can’t happen). This intuition might partially originate in our actual day-to-day experiences when we feel resistance against some of our actions. Some goals are not merely difficult to achieve, they are  impossible: we cannot, unaided, jump 10m high. In concert with the facts about our current body mass, leg muscles, and the earth’s gravitational field, the laws of nature prohibit this kind of leap. For Humeans, laws have more of a descriptive character: the laws are (merely) accurate reports of what regularly happens or is universally the case. This intuition comes from the observation that nature seems to be uniform. Alleged laws like Boyle's law (which says that for a fixed amount of an ideal gas kept at a fixed temperature, pressure and volume are inversely proportional (pV=k)) or Einstein’s famous mass-energy equivalence (E=mc2) record these universal regularities. Those who hold the anti-Humean, first intuition (that the laws necessitate what happens and prohibit what does not happen) do not think the second intuition is wrong. In fact, if, what the laws say, must happen, then it also does happen and we get the regularities for free. The necessities in nature supposedly produce the regularities and thus explain why they are there. Yet, those who subscribe to some kind of regularity view deny that laws necessitate anything because they usually agree with David Hume that the postulation of necessity in nature is suspect.
Key works The most important Humean view comes from David Lewis: Lewis 2001  (esp. pp. 73-77), Lewis 1999  (esp. pp. 8-55 and 224-247). The orthodox anti-Humean accounts are in Armstrong, Tooley, and Dretske: Armstrong 1983Tooley 1997Dretske 1977. Modern anti-Humean accounts come, for example, from dispositionalists: Mumford & Anjum 2011, Bird 2007Ellis 2001
Introductions Psillos 2002
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  1. Algorithmic Randomness and Probabilistic Laws.Jeffrey A. Barrett & Eddy Keming Chen - manuscript
    We consider two ways one might use algorithmic randomness to characterize a probabilistic law. The first is a generative chance* law. Such laws involve a nonstandard notion of chance. The second is a probabilistic* constraining law. Such laws impose relative frequency and randomness constraints that every physically possible world must satisfy. While each notion has virtues, we argue that the latter has advantages over the former. It supports a unified governing account of non-Humean laws and provides independently motivated solutions to (...)
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  2. The Simplicity of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - manuscript
    Physical laws are strikingly simple, although there is no a priori reason they must be so. I propose that nomic realists of all types (Humeans and non-Humeans) should accept that simplicity is a fundamental epistemic guide for discovering and evaluating candidate physical laws. This principle of simplicity clarifies and addresses several problems of nomic realism and simplicity. A consequence is that the oft-cited epistemic advantage of Humeanism over non-Humeanism disappears, undercutting an influential epistemological argument for Humeanism. Moreover, simplicity is shown (...)
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  3. Humean Laws: Stability, Undermining, and Context.Antony Eagle - manuscript
    I respond to some challenges to Humean laws deriving from the claimed non-resilience of such laws under counterfactual assumptions.
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  4. Humean Laws, Humean-law Compatibilism, and the Consequence Argument.Kristin M. Mickelson - manuscript
    Traditional compatibilism is the view that free will is compatible with determinism. Humean-law compatibilism (a.k.a. weak-law compatibilism), is the view that free will is compatible with determinism, where determinism is defined in terms of a broadly Humean view of the laws of nature. A growing number of philosophers hold that Humean-law compatibilists are targeted by and have special resources to resist arguments for traditional incompatibilism, including the Consequence Argument (cf. Beebee and Mele 2002, Perry 2004, Hetherington 2006, Berofsky 2012, Mele (...)
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  5. Hypertemporal Humeanism and the Open Future.Benjamin Smart - manuscript
    Take strong open-future Humeanism (OFH) to comprise the following three tenets: (i) that truth supervenes on being (ii) that there is a dynamic present moment, and (iii) that there are no future facts; that is, contingent propositions about the future obtain truth values only when their referents are actualised (Tooley 1997). On the face of it this is a deeply problematic metaphysic - if there are no future facts then prima facie the Humean can neither provide laws of nature, nor (...)
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  6. Necessities Overboard: A Reply to Lange.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this discussion note I reply to some criticisms that Marc Lange (2022) has directed at my Humean view of scientific laws (Bhogal, 2020) -- about whether Humean views can make sense of the apparent fact that laws are counterfactually invariant. The key idea of my response is that the Humean should think of their reduction of the laws to the Humean mosaic as closely related to other views where we reduce one domain to another but still allow that the (...)
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  7. What Chance Doesn’t Know.Harjit Bhogal & Michael Townsen Hicks - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Humean accounts of chance have a problem with undermining futures: they have to accept that some series of events are physically possible and have a nonzero chance but are inconsistent with the chances being what they are. This contradicts basic platitudes about chances (such as those given by Bigelow et al. (1993) and Schaffer (2007)) and leads to inconsistency between plausible constraints on credences. We show how Humeans can avoid these contradictions by drawing on metaphysically impossible worlds that are, nevertheless, (...)
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  8. If Naturalism is True, then Scientific Explanation is Impossible.Tomas Bogardus - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-24.
    I begin by retracing an argument from Aristotle for final causes in science. Then, I advance this ancient thought, and defend an argument for a stronger conclusion: that no scientific explanation can succeed, if Naturalism is true. The argument goes like this: (1) Any scientific explanation can be successful only if it crucially involves a natural regularity. Next, I argue that (2) any explanation can be successful only if it crucially involves no element that calls out for explanation but lacks (...)
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  9. Constraint Accounts of Laws.Meacham Christopher J. G. - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    In recent work, Adlam (2022b), Chen & Goldstein (2022), and Meacham (2023) have defended accounts of laws that take laws to be primitive global constraints. A major advantage of these accounts is that they’re able to accommodate the many different kinds of laws that appear in physical theories. In this paper I’ll present these three accounts, highlight their distinguishing features, and note some key differences that might lead one to favor one of these accounts over the others. I’ll conclude by (...)
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  10. The primitivist response to the inference problem.Ashley Coates - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    While the inference problem is widely thought to be one of the most serious problems facing non-Humean accounts of laws, Jonathan Schaffer has argued that a primitivist response straightforwardly dissolves the problem. On this basis, he claims that the inference problem is really a pseudo-problem. Here I clarify the prospects of a primitivist response to the inference problem and their implications for the philosophical significance of the problem. I argue both that it is a substantial question whether this sort of (...)
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  11. The Problem of Nomological Harmony.Brian Cutter & Bradford Saad - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Our universe features a harmonious match between laws and states: applying its laws to its states generates other states. This is a striking fact. Matters might have been otherwise. The universe might have been stillborn in a state unengaged by its laws. The problem of nomological harmony is that of explaining the noted striking fact. After introducing and developing this problem, we canvass candidate solutions and identify some of their virtues and vices. Candidate solutions invoke the likes of a designer, (...)
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  12. Productive Laws in Relativistic Spacetimes.Chris Dorst - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    One of the most intuitive views about the metaphysics of laws of nature is Tim Maudlin's idea of a Fundamental Law of Temporal Evolution. So-called FLOTEs are primitive elements of the universe that produce later states from earlier states. While FLOTEs are at home in traditional Newtonian and non-relativistic quantum mechanical theories (not to mention our pre-theoretic conception of the world), I consider here whether they can be made to work with relativity. In particular, shifting to relativistic spacetimes poses two (...)
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  13. Does the Best System Need the Past Hypothesis?Chris Dorst - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Many philosophers sympathetic with a Humean understanding of laws of nature have thought that, in the final analysis, the fundamental laws will include not only the traditional dynamical equations, but also two additional principles: the Past Hypothesis and the Statistical Postulate. The former says that the universe began in a particular very-low-entropy macrostate M(0), and the latter posits a uniform probability distribution over the microstates compatible with M(0). Such a view is arguably vindicated by the orthodox Humean Best System Account (...)
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  14. Symmetries as Humean Metalaws.Callum Duguid - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science 90 (1):171-187.
    Symmetry principles are a central part of contemporary physics, yet there has been surprisingly little metaphysical work done on them. This article develops the Wignerian treatment of symmetries as higher-order laws—metalaws—within a Humean framework of lawhood. Lange has raised two obstacles to Humean metalaws, and the article shows that the account has the resources available to respond to both. It is argued that this framework for Humean metalaws stands as an example of naturalistic metaphysics, able to bring Humeanism into contact (...)
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  15. How to be Humean about symmetries.Toby Friend - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    I describe three extant attempts to identify the global external symmetries within a Humean framework with theorems of some or other deductive systematization of the world, respectively, the best system, a meta-best system and a maximally simple system. Each has merits, but also serious flaws. Instead, I propose a view of global external symmetries as consequences of the structure of Humean-consistent world-making relations.
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  16. The Ideology of Pragmatic Humeanism.Tyler Hildebrand - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    According to the Humean Best Systems Account, laws are generalizations in the best systematization of non-modal matters of fact. Recently, it has become popular to interpret the notion of a best system pragmatically. The _best_ system is sensitive to our interests—that is, to our goals, abilities, and limitations. This account promises a metaphysically minimalistic analysis of laws, but I argue that it is not as minimalistic as it might appear. Some of the concepts it employs are modally robust, leading to (...)
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  17. Determinismus Kausalität Freiheit - Wissenschaftstheoretische Überlegungen zur Willensfreiheitsdebatte.Hüttemann Andreas - 2024 - Frankfurt: Klostermann.
    Let us assume that human behavior is subject to laws of nature. These are either deterministic or indeterministic. Prima facie in both cases our behavior appears to be excused. For it seems as if, in the case of deterministic laws, we cannot behave differently than we actually do. In the case of indeterministic laws, it seems as if we are not the originators of this behavior, because how we behave depends on chance. There is a tension between the scientific characterization (...)
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  18. Laws of Physics.Eddy Keming Chen - 2024 - Cambridge University Press.
    Despite its apparent complexity, our world seems to be governed by simple laws of physics. This volume provides a philosophical introduction to such laws. I explain how they are connected to some of the central issues in philosophy, such as ontology, possibility, explanation, induction, counterfactuals, time, determinism, and fundamentality. I suggest that laws are fundamental facts that govern the world by constraining its physical possibilities. I examine three hallmarks of laws-simplicity, exactness, and objectivity-and discuss whether and how they may be (...)
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  19. On some objections to the powers-BSA.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2024 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):998-1006.
    This paper responds to Friend’s (2023) critique of the Powers-BSA, a view according to which laws of nature are efficient descriptions of how modally laden properties (powers) are possibly distributed in spacetime. In the course of this response, the paper discusses the nature of scientific and metaphysical explanation, the aim of science and the structure of modal space.
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  20. Every View is a View From Somewhere: Pragmatist Laws and Possibility.Holly Andersen - 2023 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 38 (3):357-372.
    Humean accounts of laws are often contrasted with governing accounts, and recent developments have added pragmatic versions of Humeanism. This paper offers Mitchell's pragmatist, perspectival account of laws as a third option. The differences between these accounts come down to the role of modality. Mitchell's bottom-up account allows for subtle gradations of modal content to be conveyed by laws. The perspectival character of laws is not an accident or something to be eventually eliminated - it is part of how this (...)
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  21. What does the world look like according to superdeterminism.Augustin Baas & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (3):555-572.
    The violation of Bell inequalities seems to establish an important fact about the world: that it is non-local. However, this result relies on the assumption of the statistical independence of the measurement settings with respect to potential past events that might have determined them. Superdeterminism refers to the view that a local, and determinist, account of Bell inequalities violations is possible, by rejecting this assumption of statistical independence. We examine and clarify various problems with superdeterminism, looking in particular at its (...)
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  22. The Package Deal Account of Naturalness.Harjit Bhogal - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    Some properties – like charge – are natural, some – like grue are unnatural. The distinction between natural and unnatural properties is normally taken as primitive. However, Barry Loewer’s Package Deal Account (PDA) aims to provide an reductive account of natural properties, integrated with a reductive account of laws of nature. In addition, the account seems to be able to apply to natural properties at the level of fundamental physics, and higher-level, special science, properties. -/- If the account is successful, (...)
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  23. Best-System Laws, Explanation, and Unification.Thomas Blanchard - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    In recent years, an active research program has emerged that aims to develop a Humean best-system account (BSA) of laws of nature that improves on Lewis’s canonical articulation of the view. Its guiding idea is that the laws are cognitive tools tailored to the specific needs and limitations of creatures like us. While current versions of this “pragmatic Humean” research program fare much better than Lewis’s account along many dimensions, I will argue that they have trouble making sense of certain (...)
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  24. A Humean Non-Humeanism.David Builes - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (3):1031-1048.
    How should we account for the extraordinary regularity in the world? Humeans and Non-Humeans sharply disagree. According to Non-Humeans, the world behaves in an extraordinarily regular way because of certain necessary connections in nature. However, Humeans have thought that Non-Humean views are metaphysically objectionable. In particular, there are two general metaphysical principles that Humeans have found attractive that are incompatible with all existing versions of Non-Humeanism. My goal in this paper is to develop a novel version of Non-Humeanism that is (...)
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  25. Matter and Mathematics: An Essentialist Account of the Laws of Nature by Andrew YOUNAN (review).Dominic V. Cassella - 2023 - Review of Metaphysics 77 (1):166-168.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:Matter and Mathematics: An Essentialist Account of the Laws of Nature by Andrew YOUNANDominic V. CassellaYOUNAN, Andrew. Matter and Mathematics: An Essentialist Account of the Laws of Nature. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2023. xii + 228 pp. Cloth, $75.00Andrew Younan’s work situates itself between two opposing philosophical accounts of the laws of nature. In one corner, there are the Humeans (or Nominalists); in the (...)
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  26. The Past Hypothesis and the Nature of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - 2023 - In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric B. Winsberg (eds.), The Probability Map of the Universe: Essays on David Albert’s _time and Chance_. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 204-248.
    If the Past Hypothesis underlies the arrows of time, what is the status of the Past Hypothesis? In this paper, I examine the role of the Past Hypothesis in the Boltzmannian account and defend the view that the Past Hypothesis is a candidate fundamental law of nature. Such a view is known to be compatible with Humeanism about laws, but as I argue it is also supported by a minimal non-Humean "governing'' view. Some worries arise from the non-dynamical and time-dependent (...)
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  27. Predictive Infelicities and the Instability of Predictive Optimality.Chris Dorst - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    Recent neo-Humean theories of laws of nature have placed substantial emphasis on the characteristic epistemic roles played by laws in scientific practice. In particular, these theories seek to understand laws in terms of their optimal predictive utility to creatures in our epistemic situation. In contrast to other approaches, this view has the distinct advantage that it is able to account for a number of pervasive features possessed by putative actual laws of nature. However, it also faces some unique challenges. First, (...)
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  28. Typicality of Dynamics and the Laws of Nature.Aldo Filomeno - 2023 - In Cristián Soto (ed.), Current Debates in Philosophy of Science: In Honor of Roberto Torretti. Springer Verlag.
    Certain results, most famously in classical statistical mechanics and complex systems, but also in quantum mechanics and high-energy physics, yield a coarse-grained stable statistical pattern in the long run. The explanation of these results shares a common structure: the results hold for a 'typical' dynamics, that is, for most of the underlying dynamics. In this paper I argue that the structure of the explanation of these results might shed some light --a different light-- on philosophical debates on the laws of (...)
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  29. Typicality of Dynamics and Laws of Nature.Aldo Filomeno - 2023 - In Cristián Soto (ed.), Current Debates in Philosophy of Science: In Honor of Roberto Torretti. Springer Verlag. pp. 391-418.
    Certain results, most famously in classical statistical mechanics and complex systems, but also in quantum mechanics and high-energy physics, yield a coarse-grained stable statistical pattern in the long run. The explanation of these results shares a common structure: the results hold for a ‘typical’ dynamics, that is, for most of the underlying dynamics. In this paper I argue that the structure of the explanation of these results might shed some light—a different light—on philosophical debates on the laws of nature. In (...)
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  30. How to Be Humean about Idealization Laws.Toby Friend - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (1):150-170.
    If one has Humean inclinations, what account should one provide for idealization laws? I introduce the currently most popular Humean approach to laws of nature, the best systems account, along with some basic requirements for how to be Humean. I then show why idealization laws are unlikely to be accommodated within this account of laws. Finally, I offer an alternative approach that takes idealization laws to be meta-laws, placing requirements on the theorems of the best system.
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  31. Can the Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics Consists Only in Particles? The PBR Theorem Says No.Shan Gao - 2023 - Foundations of Physics 53 (6):1-21.
    The meaning of the wave function is an important unresolved issue in Bohmian mechanics. On the one hand, according to the nomological view, the wave function of the universe or the universal wave function is nomological, like a law of nature. On the other hand, the PBR theorem proves that the wave function in quantum mechanics or the effective wave function in Bohmian mechanics is ontic, representing the ontic state of a physical system in the universe. It is usually thought (...)
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  32. Naturalness by law.Verónica Gómez Sánchez - 2023 - Noûs 57 (1):100-127.
    The intuitive distinction between natural and unnatural properties (e.g., green vs. grue) informs our theorizing not only in fundamental physics, but also in non-fundamental domains. This paper develops a reductive account of this broad notion of naturalness that covers non-fundamental properties: for a property to be natural, I propose, is for it to figure in a law of nature. After motivating the account, I defend it from a potential circularity charge. I argue that a suitably broad notion of lawhood can (...)
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  33. Humean Reductionism about Essence.Ned Hall - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP. pp. 258-286.
    In the metaphysics of laws of nature, one fundamental philosophical question is whether we should give a metaphysical or rather an epistemic account of what they are; that is the core issue that divides ‘Humeans’ from ‘anti-Humeans’. In much the same way, a key question we face with essences is whether to give a metaphysical or rather an epistemic account of what they are. (So note well: in choosing to deploy the term ‘essence’ this chapter is not taking sides on (...)
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  34. Humeanism and the Pragmatic Turn.Michael Townsen Hicks, Siegfried Jaag & Christian Loew - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP. pp. 1-15.
    A central question in the philosophy of science is: What is a law of nature? Different answers to this question define an important schism: Humeans, in the wake of David Hume, hold that the laws of nature are nothing over and above what actually happens and reject irreducible facts about natural modality (Lewis, 1983, 1994; cf. Miller, 2015). According to Non-Humeans, by contrast, the laws are metaphysically fundamental (Maudlin, 2007) or grounded in primitive modal structures, such as dispositional essences of (...)
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  35. 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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  36. Are all laws of nature created equal? Meta-laws versus more necessary laws.Salim Hirèche, Niels Linnemann & Robert Michels - 2023 - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    Two approaches to elevating certain laws of nature over others have come to prominence recently. On the one hand, according to the meta-laws approach, there are meta-laws, laws which relate to laws as those laws relate to particular facts. On the other hand, according to the modal, or non-absolutist, approach, some laws are necessary in a stricter sense than others. Both approaches play an important role in current research, questioning the ‘orthodoxy’ represented by the leading philosophical theories of natural laws—Humeanism, (...)
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  37. Empty-Base Explanation.Yannic Kappes - 2023 - De Gruyter.
    This book develops and applies a novel kind of explanation: Empty-Base Explanation. While ordinary explanations have a tripartite structure involving an explanandum, a base of reasons why the explanandum obtains, and a link that connects the reasons to the explanandum, this book argues that there are explanations whose corresponding set of reasons is empty. This novel idea is located in the theoretical background of several fundamental philosophical issues. For example, it provides a convincing kind of ultimate or final explanation that (...)
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  38. Laws beyond spacetime.Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich - 2023 - Synthese 202 (3):1-24.
    Quantum gravity’s suggestion that spacetime may be emergent and so only exist contingently would force a radical reconception of extant analyses of laws of nature. Humeanism presupposes a spatiotemporal mosaic of particular matters of fact on which laws supervene; primitivism and dispositionalism conceive of the action of primitive laws or of dispositions as a process of ‘nomic production’ unfolding over time. We show how the Humean supervenience basis of non-modal facts and primitivist or dispositionalist accounts of nomic production can be (...)
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  39. A new circularity in explanations by Humean laws of nature.Marc Lange - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (3):1001-1016.
    Humean accounts of natural law have long been charged with being unable to account for the laws’ explanatory power in science. One form of this objection is to charge Humean accounts with explanatory circularity: a fact in the Humean mosaic helps to explain why some regularity is a law (first premise), but that law, in turn, helps to explain why that mosaic fact holds (second premise). To this objection, Humeans have replied that the explanation in the first premise is metaphysical (...)
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  40. Powers and Nomic Relations: Powerful Categoricalism and the Dualist Model.Vassilis Livanios - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (3):1401-1423.
    The bulk of the literature concerning the governing role of non-Humean laws has been concentrated on the alleged incapability of higher order nomic facts to determine the regularities in the behaviour of actual objects, the so-called Inference Problem. Most recently Ioannidis, Livanios and Psillos (2021) argue that an adequate solution to the Inference Problem requires an answer to the question of how nomic relations manage to ‘tell’ properties what to do. Ioannidis et al. dub the difficulty that all extant accounts (...)
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  41. Humean Laws for Human Agents.Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.) - 2023 - Oxford: Oxford UP.
    Humean Laws for Human Agents presents cutting-edge research by leading experts on the Humean account of laws, chance, possibility, and necessity. A central question in metaphysics and philosophy of science is: What are laws of nature? Humeans hold that laws are not sui generis metaphysical entities but merely particularly effective summaries of what actually happens. The most discussed recent work on Humeanism emphasizes the laws' usefulness for limited agents and uses pragmatic considerations to address fundamental and long-standing problems. The current (...)
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  42. DOĞA YASALARI BAĞLAMINDA KLASIK HUMECULUĞA KARŞI YAPISAL HUMECULUK.Omer Fatih Tekin - 2023 - Felsefe Dünyası Dergisi 1 (77):89-111.
    In The Context of Laws of Nature Structural Humeanism vs. Classical Humeanism -/- In the context of the laws of nature, philosophers of science have developed some views in order to adopt an attitude towards recurring events in nature. In this respect, it has been discussed whether there is any driving force underlying the regular behaviours and movements we encounter in nature, and two approaches have emerged as a result of the discussion: A view that there are certain driving forces (...)
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  43. Powers as Mereological Lawmakers.Michael Traynor - 2023 - In Christopher J. Austin, Anna Marmodoro & Andrea Roselli (eds.), Powers, Parts and Wholes: Essays on the Mereology of Powers. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 83-95.
    This chapter explores a potential analogy between mereological principles and laws of nature. Against a backdrop of what Marmodoro has termed ‘power structuralism’ (and a rejection of a Humean worldview), the connection between parthood and modality may be richer than has hitherto been considered. Mereological principles delineate possibilities for parts and wholes, and putting powers at the centre of a discussion about parthood can furnish a novel conception of mereological laws, much as dispositionalism has done so for natural laws; namely, (...)
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  44. Les lois de la nature et le problème de l'induction.Julien Tricard - 2023 - Paris: Les Matériologiques. Translated by Philippe Huneman, Guillaume Lecointre & Marc Silberstein.
    Que sont les « lois de la nature » que les sciences empiriques, et en premier lieu la physique, tentent de saisir? Et si les scientifiques ne peuvent les découvrir, ou du moins les confirmer, que sur la base de l’expérience, quels sont la nature et le fondement de leurs opérations inductives? Comment garantir la possibilité d’une authentique connaissance de ces lois qui structurent la réalité? Ce livre propose une enquête épistémologique et métaphysique au cours de laquelle deux fils directeurs (...)
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  45. Weak Emergence-Based Non-Reductive Physicalism.Zhaohui Wen - 2023 - Dissertation, Ba, Wuhan University
    Author's note: I worked out a project for journal publication on the basis of this piece. Please regard this version as a historical document. For citation, please refer to the more updated version.
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  46. David Armstrong’s nomological realism.Т. Н Тарасенко - 2023 - Philosophy Journal 16 (3):103-117.
    The article discusses the position of the Australian philosopher David Armstrong on the problem of the ontological status of the laws of nature. Through a clarification of Armstrong’s understanding of naturalism, physicalism, and factualism, the general essence of his metaphysical project is summarized. Then article presents his theory of the laws of nature, which is a kind of nomological realism: his version of the nomolog­ical argument is examined; his general grounds for rejecting the regularity theories, which is classical for the (...)
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  47. 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 them to laws outside (...)
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  48. Governing Without A Fundamental Direction of Time: Minimal Primitivism about Laws of Nature.Eddy Keming Chen & Sheldon Goldstein - 2022 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking Laws of Nature. Springer. pp. 21-64.
    The Great Divide in metaphysical debates about laws of nature is between Humeans, who think that laws merely describe the distribution of matter, and non-Humeans, who think that laws govern it. The metaphysics can place demands on the proper formulations of physical theories. It is sometimes assumed that the governing view requires a fundamental / intrinsic direction of time: to govern, laws must be dynamical, producing later states of the world from earlier ones, in accord with the fundamental direction of (...)
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  49. Laws, melodies, and the paradox of predictability.Dorst Chris - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
    If the laws of nature are deterministic, then it seems possible that a Laplacean intelligence that knows the initial conditions and the laws would be able to accurately predict everything that will ever happen. However, it would be easy to construct a counterpredictive device that falsifies any revealed prediction about its future behavior. What would then occur if a Laplacean intelligence encountered a counterpredictive device? This is the paradox of predictability. A number of philosophers have proposed solutions to it, though (...)
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  50. Interacting Minds in the Physical World.Alin C. Cucu - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Lausanne
    Mental causation, idea that it is us – via our minds – who cause bodily actions is as commonsensical as it is indispensable for our understanding of ourselves as rational agents. Somewhat less uncontroversial, but nonetheless widespread (at least among ordinary people) is the idea that the mind is non-physical, following the intuition that what is physical can neither act nor think nor judge morally. Taken together, and cast into a metaphysical thesis, the two intuitions yield interactive dualism: the view (...)
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