Some Laws of Nature are Metaphysically Contingent

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457 (2010)
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Abstract

Laws of nature are puzzling because they have a 'modal character'—they seem to be 'necessary-ish'—even though they also seem to be metaphysically contingent. And it is hard to understand how contingent truths could have such a modal character. Scientific essentialism is a doctrine that seems to dissolve this puzzle, by showing that laws of nature are actually metaphysically necessary. I argue that even if the metaphysics of natural kinds and properties offered by scientific essentialism is correct, there are still some metaphysically contingent truths that share the modal character of the laws of nature. I argue that these contingent truths should be considered laws of nature. So even if scientific essentialism is true, at least some laws of nature are metaphysically contingent

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References found in this work

Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1965 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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