A challenge for Super-Humeanism: the problem of immanent comparisons

Synthese 197 (9):4001-4020 (2020)
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According to the doctrine of Super-Humeanism, the world’s mosaic consists only of permanent matter points and changing spatial relations, while all the other entities and features figuring in scientific theories are nomological parameters, whose role is merely to build the best law system. In this paper, I develop an argument against Super-Humeanism by pointing out that it is vulnerable to and does not have the resources to solve the well-known problem of immanent comparisons. Firstly, I show that it cannot endorse a fundamentalist solution à la Lewis, since its two pillars—a minimalist ontology and a best system account of lawhood—would generate, together, a tedious problem of internal coherence. Secondly, I consider anti-fundamentalist strategies, proposed within Humeanism, and find them inapplicable to the Super-Humean doctrine. The concern is that, since it is impossible to choose the best law system within Super-Humeanism, this doctrine may be charged with incoherence.



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Vera Matarese
Perugia University

Citations of this work

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How Humean is Bohumianism?Tomasz Bigaj & Antonio Vassallo - 2020 - Foundations of Physics (10):1-18.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.

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