What Price Changing Laws of Nature?

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19 (2020)
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In this paper, we show that it is not a conceptual truth about laws of nature that they are immutable (though we are happy to leave it as an open empirical question whether they do actually change once in a while). In order to do so, we survey three popular accounts of lawhood—(Armstrong-style) necessitarianism, (Bird-style) dispositionalism and (Lewis-style) ‘best system analysis’—and expose the extent, as well as the philosophical cost, of the amendments that should be enforced in order to leave room for the possibility of changing laws.



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Author Profiles

Olivier Sartenaer
University of Namur
Alexandre Guay
Catholic University of Louvain
Paul Humphreys
University of Virginia

References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Philosophical papers.David Lewis - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Sydney Shoemaker.
Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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