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Ceteris Paribus Laws

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2019)

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  1. Levelling counterfactual scepticism.Alexander Sandgren & Katie Steele - 2020 - Synthese:1-21.
    In this paper, we develop a novel response to counterfactual scepticism, the thesis that most ordinary counterfactual claims are false. In the process we aim to shed light on the relationship between debates in the philosophy of science and debates concerning the semantics and pragmatics of counterfactuals. We argue that science is concerned with many domains of inquiry, each with its own characteristic entities and regularities; moreover, statements of scientific law often include an implicit ceteris paribus clause that restricts the (...)
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  • La concezione epistemica dell'analiticità.Alessia Marabini - 2014 - Aracne editrice.
    La rinascita negli ultimi decenni di un nutrito dibattito intorno alla nozione di analiticità dopo le critiche a suo tempo mosse da Quine alla batteria di nozioni utilizzate da Rudolf Carnap (ad esempio, postulati di significato, regole semantiche, definizioni implicite, convenzioni e stipulazioni esplicite) prende le mosse da una riflessione critica sulle argomentazioni di Quine e tenta, da un lato, di approfondire meglio il legame fra analiticità e conoscenza a priori, e, dall’altro, di capire meglio il ruolo che la definizione (...)
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  • Self-Deception and the Selectivity Problem.Marko Jurjako - 2013 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):151-162.
    In this article I discuss and evaluate the selectivity problem as a problem put forward by Bermudez (1997, 2000) against anti-intentionalist accounts of self-deception. I argue that the selectivity problem can be raised even against intentionalist accounts, which reveals the too demanding constraint that the problem puts on the adequacy of a psychological explanation of action. Finally I try to accommodate the intuitions that support the cogency of the selectivity problem using the resources from the framework provided by an anti-intentionalist (...)
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  • Semantic Dispositionalism Without Exceptions.Arvid Båve - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1751-1771.
    Semantic dispositionalism is roughly the view that meaning a certain thing by a word, or possessing a certain concept, consists in being disposed to do something, e.g., infer a certain way. Its main problem is that it seems to have so many and disparate exceptions. People can fail to infer as required due to lack of logical acumen, intoxication, confusion, deviant theories, neural malfunctioning, and so on. I present a theory stating possession conditions of concepts that are counterfactuals, rather than (...)
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  • Natural Law and Universality in the Philosophy of Biology.Alexander Reutlinger - 2014 - European Review 22 (51).
    Several philosophers of biology have argued for the claim that the generalizations of biology are historical and contingent.1–5 This claim divides into the following sub-claims, each of which I will contest: first, biological generalizations are restricted to a particular space-time region. I argue that biological generalizations are universal with respect to space and time. Secondly, biological generalizations are restricted to specific kinds of entities, i.e. these generalizations do not quantify over an unrestricted domain. I will challenge this second claim by (...)
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  • Pietroski and Rey on Ceteris Paribus Laws.Gerhard Schurz - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (2):359Ð370.
    , Pietroski and Rey ([1995]) suggested a reconstruction of ceteris paribus (CP)-laws, which — as they claim — saves CP-laws from vacuity. This discussion note is intended to show that, although Pietroski and Rey's reconstruction is an improvement in comparison to previous suggestions, it cannot avoid the result that CP-laws are almost vacuous. It is proved that if Cx is an arbitrary (nomological) event-type which has independently identifiable deterministic causes, then for every other (nomological) event-type Ax which is not strictly (...)
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  • Better Best Systems – Too Good To Be True.Marius Backmann & Alexander Reutlinger - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (3):375-390.
    Craig Callender, Jonathan Cohen and Markus Schrenk have recently argued for an amended version of the best system account of laws – the better best system account (BBSA). This account of lawhood is supposed to account for laws in the special sciences, among other desiderata. Unlike David Lewis's original best system account of laws, the BBSA does not rely on a privileged class of natural predicates, in terms of which the best system is formulated. According to the BBSA, a contingently (...)
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  • Explanations: Aesthetic and Scientific.Shen-yi Liao - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 75:127-149.
    Methodologically, philosophical aesthetics is undergoing an evolution that takes it closer to the sciences. Taking this methodological convergence as the starting point, I argue for a pragmatist and pluralist view of aesthetic explanations. To bring concreteness to discussion, I focus on vindicating genre explanations, which are explanations of aesthetic phenomena that centrally cite a work's genre classification. I show that theoretical resources that philosophers of science have developed with attention to actual scientific practice and the special sciences can be used (...)
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  • Inference, Explanation, and Asymmetry.Kareem Khalifa, Jared Millson & Mark Risjord - 2018 - Synthese.
    Explanation is asymmetric: if A explains B, then B does not explain A. Tradition- ally, the asymmetry of explanation was thought to favor causal accounts of explanation over their rivals, such as those that take explanations to be inferences. In this paper, we develop a new inferential approach to explanation that outperforms causal approaches in accounting for the asymmetry of explanation.
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  • Ceteris Paribus Laws in Physics.Andreas Hüttemann - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1715-1728.
    Earman and Roberts claim that there is neither a persuasive account of the truth-conditions of ceteris paribus laws, nor of how such laws can be confirmed or disconfirmed. I will give an account of the truth conditions of ceteris paribus laws in physics in terms of dispositions. It will meet the objections standardly raised against such an account. Furthermore I will elucidate how ceteris paribus laws can be tested in physics. The essential point is that physics provides methodologies for dealing (...)
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  • Better Best Systems and the Issue of CP-Laws.Markus Schrenk - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1787-1799.
    This paper combines two ideas: (1) That the Lewisian best system analysis of lawhood (BSA) can cope with laws that have exceptions (cf. Braddon-Mitchell in Noûs 35(2):260–277, 2001; Schrenk in The metaphysics of ceteris paribus laws. Ontos, Frankfurt, 2007). (2) That a BSA can be executed not only on the mosaic of perfectly natural properties but also on any set of special science properties (cf., inter alia, Schrenk 2007, Selected papers contributed to the sections of GAP.6, 6th international congress of (...)
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  • Do Statistical Laws Solve the 'Problem of Provisos'?Alexander Reutlinger - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1759-1773.
    In their influential paper “Ceteris Paribus, There is No Problem of Provisos”, Earman and Roberts (Synthese 118:439–478, 1999) propose to interpret the non-strict generalizations of the special sciences as statistical generalizations about correlations. I call this view the “statistical account”. Earman and Roberts claim that statistical generalizations are not qualified by “non-lazy” ceteris paribus conditions. The statistical account is an attractive view, since it looks exactly like what everybody wants: it is a simple and intelligible theory of special science laws (...)
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  • A Theory of Non-Universal Laws.Alexander Reutlinger - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
    Laws in the special sciences are usually regarded to be non-universal. A theory of laws in the special sciences faces two challenges. (I) According to Lange's dilemma, laws in the special sciences are either false or trivially true. (II) They have to meet the ?requirement of relevance?, which is a way to require the non-accidentality of special science laws. I argue that both challenges can be met if one distinguishes four dimensions of (non-) universality. The upshot is that I argue (...)
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  • Ceteris Paribus and Ceteris Rectis Laws: Content and Causal Role.Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1801-1817.
    This paper has three goals. The first goal is to work out the difference between literal ceteris paribus laws in the sense of “all others being equal” and ceteris rectis “laws” in the sense of “all others being right”. While cp laws involve a universal quantification, cr generalizations involve an existential quantification over the values of the remainder variables Z. As a result, the two differ crucially in their confirmability and lawlikeness. The second goal is to provide a classification of (...)
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  • High-Level Exceptions Explained.Michael Strevens - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1819-1832.
    Why are causal generalizations in the higher-level sciences “inexact”? That is, why do they have apparent exceptions? This paper offers one explanation: many causal generalizations cite as their antecedent—the \(F\) in \(Fs\,\, {\textit{are}}\,\, G\) —a property that is not causally relevant to the consequent, but which is rather “entangled” with a causally relevant property. Entanglement is a relation that may exist for many reasons, and that allows of exceptions. Causal generalizations that specify entangled but causally irrelevant antecedents therefore tolerate exceptions.
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  • Thinking About Non-Universal Laws: Introduction to the Special Issue Ceteris Paribus Laws Revisited.Alexander Reutlinger & Matthias Unterhuber - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1703-1713.
    What are ceteris paribus laws? Which disciplines appeal to cp laws and which semantics, metaphysical underpinning, and epistemological dimensions do cp law statements have? Firstly, we give a short overview of the recent discussion on cp laws, which addresses these questions. Secondly, we suggest that given the rich and diverse literature on cp laws a broad conception of cp laws should be endorsed which takes into account the different ways in which laws can be non-universal . Finally, we provide an (...)
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  • Do Ceteris Paribus Laws Exist? A Regularity-Based Best System Analysis.Matthias Unterhuber - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1833-1847.
    This paper argues that ceteris paribus (cp) laws exist based on a Lewisian best system analysis of lawhood (BSA). Furthermore, it shows that a BSA faces a second trivialization problem besides the one identified by Lewis. The first point concerns an argument against cp laws by Earman and Roberts. The second point aims to help making some assumptions of the BSA explicit. To address the second trivialization problem, a restriction in terms of natural logical constants is proposed that allows one (...)
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  • Desire Considered as a Propositional Attitude.William G. Lycan - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):201-215.
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  • Normality and Majority: Towards a Statistical Understanding of Normality Statements.Corina Strößner - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):793-809.
    Normality judgements are frequently used in everyday communication as well as in biological and social science. Moreover they became increasingly relevant to formal logic as part of defeasible reasoning. This paper distinguishes different kinds of normality statements. It is argued that normality laws like “Birds can normally fly” should be understood essentially in a statistical way. The argument has basically two parts: firstly, a statistical semantic core is mandatory for a descriptive reading of normality in order to explain the logical (...)
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  • Raz’s Definition of a Right.Mark Mcbride - 2018 - Ratio Juris 31 (4):460-468.
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