Making best systems best for us

Synthese:1-26 (forthcoming)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Humean reductionism about laws of nature appears to leave a central aspect of scientific practice unmotivated: If the world’s fundamental structure is exhausted by the actual distribution of non-modal properties and the laws of nature are merely efficient summaries of this distribution, then why does science posit laws that cover a wide range of non-actual circumstances? In this paper, we develop a new version of the Humean best systems account of laws based on the idea that laws need to organize information in a way that maximizes their cognitive usefulness for creature like us. We argue that this account motivates scientific practice because the laws’ applicability to non-actual circumstances falls right out of their cognitive usefulness.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
JAAMBS
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-06-03
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Laws and Symmetry.van Fraassen, Bas C.

View all 49 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-06-02

Total views
106 ( #24,511 of 41,549 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
35 ( #17,743 of 41,549 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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