Cartwright on laws and composition

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (3):253 – 268 (2000)
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Abstract

Cartwright attempts to argue from an analysis of the composition of forces, and more generally the composition of laws, to the conclusion that laws must be regarded as false. A response to Cartwright is developed which contends that properly understood composition poses no threat to the truth of laws, even though agreeing with Cartwright that laws do not satisfy the "facticity" requirement. My analysis draws especially on the work of Creary, Bhaskar, Mill, and points towards a general rejection of Cartwright's view that laws, especially fundamental laws, should be seen as false.

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Author's Profile

David Spurrett
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Citations of this work

The Composition of Forces.Olivier Massin - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3):805-846.
A Non-reductive Model of Component Forces and Resultant Force.Dwayne Moore - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):359-380.
Ceteris Paribus Laws: A Naturalistic Account.Robert Kowalenko - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (2):133-155.

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References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Nature's capacities and their measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
A realist theory of science.Roy Bhaskar - 1975 - New York: Routledge.
The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Cambridge, England: Allen & Unwin.

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