Synthese 199 (3-4):6085-6102 (2021)

Siegfried Jaag
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
In this paper, we argue that the popular claim that laws of nature explain their instances creates a philosophical puzzle when it is combined with the widely held requirement that explanations need to be underpinned by ‘wordly’ relations. We argue that a “direct solution” to the puzzle that accounts for both explanatory laws and explanatory realism requires endorsing at least a radical metaphysics. Then, we examine the ramifications of a “skeptical solution”, i.e., dissolving it by giving up at least one of these two claims, and argue that adopting it is more favorable to Humean reductionists than to anti-reductionists about laws of nature.
Keywords laws of nature, explanation, Humeanism and Nonhumeanism about laws
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03061-3
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