A Theory for Special Science Laws

In H. Bohse & S. Walter (eds.), Selected Papers Contributed to the Sections of Gap.6. Mentis (2006)
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This paper explores whether it is possible to reformulate or re-interpret Lewis’s theory of fundamental laws of nature—his “best system analysis”—in such a way that it becomes a useful theory for special science laws. One major step in this enterprise is to make plausible how law candidates within best system competitions can tolerate exceptions—this is crucial because we expect special science laws to be so called “ceteris paribus laws ”. I attempt to show how this is possible and also how we can thereby make the first step towards a solution for the infamous difficulties surrounding the troublesome ceteris paribus clause. The paper outlines the general ideas of the theory but also points out some of its difficulties and background assumptions.

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Markus Schrenk
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf


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