Erkenntnis 57 (3):281-301 (2002)

Authors
John Earman
University of Pittsburgh
John Roberts
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Many have claimed that ceteris paribus laws are a quite legitimate feature of scientific theories, some even going so far as to claim that laws of all scientific theories currently on offer are merely CP. We argue here that one of the common props of such a thesis, that there are numerous examples of CP laws in physics, is false. Moreover, besides the absence of genuine examples from physics, we suggest that otherwise unproblematic claims are rendered untestable by the mere addition of the CP operator. Thus, “CP all Fs are Gs”, when read as a straightforward statement of fact, cannot be the stuff of scientific theory. Rather, we suggest that when “ceteris paribus” appears in scientific works it plays a pragmatic role of pointing to more respectable claims.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1021526110200
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,231
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
Dispositions and Subjunctives.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):323 - 341.

View all 72 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ceteris Paribus Laws in Physics.Andreas Hüttemann - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1715-1728.
Hempel’s Provisos and Ceteris Paribus Clauses.Christopher H. Eliot - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):207-218.
Ceteris Paribus Laws and Psychological Explanations.Charles Wallis - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:388-397.
How the Ceteris Paribus Laws of Physics Lie.Geert Keil - 2005 - In Jan Faye, Paul Needham, Uwe Scheffler & Max Urchs (eds.), Nature's Principles. Springer. pp. 167-200.
Can Capacities Rescue Us From Cp Laws.Markus Schrenk - 2007 - In B. Gnassounou & M. Kistler (eds.), Dispositions in Philosophy and Science. Ashgate. pp. 221--247.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
643 ( #12,689 of 2,518,151 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #167,290 of 2,518,151 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes