Laws and symmetry

New York: Oxford University Press (1989)
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Abstract

Metaphysicians speak of laws of nature in terms of necessity and universality; scientists, in terms of symmetry and invariance. In this book van Fraassen argues that no metaphysical account of laws can succeed. He analyzes and rejects the arguments that there are laws of nature, or that we must believe there are, and argues that we should disregard the idea of law as an adequate clue to science. After exploring what this means for general epistemology, the author develops the empiricist view of science as a construction of models to represent the phenomena.

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Author's Profile

Bas C. Van Fraassen
San Francisco State University

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