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Intuitions and Assumptions in the Debate over Laws of Nature

In Walter Ott & Lydia Patton (eds.), Laws of Nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-17 (2018)

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  1. Laws of Nature, Natural Properties, and the Robustly Best System.Michela Massimi - 2017 - The Monist 100 (3):406-421.
    This paper addresses a famous objection against David Lewis’s Best System Analysis (BSA) of laws of nature. The objection—anticipated and discussed by Lewis (1994)—focuses on the standards of simplicity and strength being (in part) a matter of psychology. Lewis’s answer to the objection relies on his metaphysics of natural properties and its ability to single out the robustly best system, a system that is expected to come out far ahead of its rivals under any standard of simplicity and strength. The (...)
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  • Non‐Humean Theories of Natural Necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):1-1.
    Non‐Humean theories of natural necessity invoke modally‐laden primitives to explain why nature exhibits lawlike regularities. However, they vary in the primitives they posit and in their subsequent accounts of laws of nature and related phenomena (including natural properties, natural kinds, causation, counterfactuals, and the like). This article provides a taxonomy of non‐Humean theories, discusses influential arguments for and against them, and describes some ways in which differences in goals and methods can motivate different versions of non‐Humeanism (and, for that matter, (...)
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  • Fundamentality in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Physics. Part II: The Philosophy of Physics.Matteo Morganti - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (10):1-14.
    This is the second part of an overview article on fundamentality in metaphysics and the philosophy of physics. Here, the notion of fundamentality is looked at from the viewpoint of the philosophical analysis of physics and physical theories. The questions are considered (1) whether physics can be regarded as fundamental with respect to other sciences, and in what sense; (2) what the label ‘fundamental physics’ should exactly be taken to mean; (3) on what grounds a particular physical theory should be (...)
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  • Pluralism and the Unity of Science.Angela Breitenbach & Yoon Choi - 2017 - The Monist 100 (3):391-405.
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  • Acids and Rust: A New Perspective on the Chemical Revolution.Franklin Jacoby - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (2):215-236.
    This paper uses scientific perspectivism as a lens for understanding acid experiments from the Chemical Revolution. I argue that this account has several advantages over several recent interpretations of this period, interpretations that do not neatly capture some of the historical experiments on acids. The perspectival view is distinctive in that it avoids discontinuity, allows for the rational resolution of disagreement, and is sensitive to the historical epistemic context.
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