How the Laws of Physics Can be Confronted with Experience

Theoria Et Historia Scientiarum:24-36 (1992)
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Nancy Cartwright’s arguments in favor of the phenomenological laws and against the fundamental ones are discussed. I support and strengthen her criticism of the standard covering-law account but I am skeptical in respect to her radical conclusion that the laws of physics lie. Arguments in favor of the opposite stance are based on V.S. Stepin’s analysis of mature theory structure. A mature theory-change model presented here demonstrates how the fundamental laws of physics can be confronted with experience. Its case studies include the Lorentz-Einstein-Bohr transition and modern General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory unification.

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Rinat M. Nugayev
Moscow State University


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