AbstractPhysical 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 solves several problems of nomic realism and simplicity. A consequence is that the often-cited epistemic advantage of Humeanism over non-Humeanism is exaggerated, undercutting an influential epistemological argument for Humeanism. Moreover, simplicity is shown to be more tightly connected to lawhood than to mere truth.
Similar books and articles
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 the Concept of Law of Nature. Cham: Springer. pp. 21-64.
Pastoral Counsel for the Anxious Naturalist: Daniel Dennett's.Timothy O'Connor - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (4):436-448.
Humeanism and laws of nature: scope and limits.Cristián Soto - 2021 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 17:145-167.
The Past Hypothesis and the Nature of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Harvard University Press.
Ontic Structural Realism and Modality.Nora Berenstain & James Ladyman - 2012 - In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer.
Humean Laws for Human Agents.Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford UP.
Humean Laws and Circular Explanation.Michael Townsen Hicks & Peter van Elswyk - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):433-443.
Quantity of Matter or Intrinsic Property: Why Mass Cannot Be Both.Mario Hubert - 2016 - In Laura Felline, Antonio Ledda, F. Paoli & Emanuele Rossanese (eds.), New Developments in Logic and Philosophy of Science. London: College Publications. pp. 267–77.
Determinism, Physical Possibility, and Laws of Nature.Balázs Gyenis - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (6):568-581.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
Laws and Lawmakers Science, Metaphysics, and the Laws of Nature.Marc Lange - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
How to Tell When Simpler, More Unified, or Less A D Hoc Theories Will Provide More Accurate Predictions.Malcolm R. Forster & Elliott Sober - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):1-35.