Are Conservation Laws Metaphysically Necessary?

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):898-906 (2013)
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Abstract

Are laws of nature necessary, and if so, are all laws of nature necessary in the same way? This question has played an important role in recent discussion of laws of nature. I argue that not all laws of nature are necessary in the same way: conservation laws are perhaps to be regarded as metaphysically necessary. This sheds light on both the modal character of conservation laws and the relationship between different varieties of necessity

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J.E. Wolff
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

Constraints, Causes and Necessity: Where do Symmetries Fit?Margaret Morrison - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):720-725.
On metaphysically necessary laws from physics.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-13.
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Physics in Mathematics.Daniele Molinini - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (4):853-874.
Explaining the modal force of natural laws.Andreas Bartels - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):6.

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References found in this work

Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Varieties of Necessity.Kit Fine - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford Up. pp. 253-281.
Which symmetry? Noether, Weyl, and conservation of electric charge.Katherine A. Brading - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (1):3-22.
Which symmetry? Noether, Weyl, and conservation of electric charge.Katherine A. Brading - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (1):3-22.

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