Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities

Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331 (2011)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Leuridan (2010) argued that mechanisms cannot provide a genuine alternative to laws of nature as a model of explanation in the sciences, and advocates Mitchell’s (1997) pragmatic account of laws. I first demonstrate that Leuridan gets the order of priority wrong between mechanisms, regularity, and laws, and then make some clarifying remarks about how laws and mechanisms relate to regularities. Mechanisms are not an explanatory alternative to regularities; they are an alternative to laws. The existence of stable regularities in nature is necessary for either model of explanation: regularities are what laws describe and what mechanisms explain.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ANDMLA-4
Upload history
Archival date: 2013-11-06
View other versions
Added to PP index
2011-03-18

Total views
374 ( #14,014 of 55,925 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
57 ( #12,838 of 55,925 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.