Humean laws and explanation

Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3145-3165 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which Humeans should regard as laws. I will then conclude by rebutting a variant of this objection that appeals to a principle of metaphysical explanation recently put forward by Kit Fine

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,479

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-02-20

Downloads
184 (#70,542)

6 months
4 (#185,765)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Dan Marshall
Lingnan University

Citations of this work

Humeanism about laws of nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (8):1-10.
Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
Laws and their instances.Nina Emery - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1535-1561.
Breaking the explanatory circle.Michael Townsen Hicks - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):533-557.

View all 31 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

View all 31 references / Add more references