Tooley's account of the necessary connection between law and regularity

Philosophical Studies 166 (1):33-43 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Fred Dretske, Michael Tooley, and David Armstrong accept a theory of governing laws of nature according to which laws are atomic states of affairs that necessitate corresponding natural regularities. Some philosophers object to the Dretske/Tooley/Armstrong theory on the grounds that there is no illuminating account of the necessary connection between governing law and natural regularity. In response, Michael Tooley has provided a reductive account of this necessary connection in his book Causation (1987). In this essay, I discuss an improved version of his account and argue that it fails. First, the account cannot be extended to explain the necessary connection between certain sorts of laws—namely, probabilistic laws and laws relating structural universals—and their corresponding regularities. Second, Tooley’s account succeeds only by (very subtly) incorporating primitive necessity elsewhere, so the problem of avoiding primitive necessity is merely relocated
PhilPapers/Archive ID
HILTAO
Revision history
Archival date: 2012-10-23
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
What is a Law of Nature?Armstrong, D. M.
Laws of Nature.Dretske, Fred I.
The Nature of Laws.Tooley, Michael

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2012-09-02

Total views
525 ( #4,135 of 37,951 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #9,437 of 37,951 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.