Laws of Nature

In A. R. J. Fisher & Anna-Sofia Maurin (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Properties. London: Routledge. pp. 337-346 (2024)
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Abstract

Properties have an important role in specifying different views on laws of nature: virtually any position on laws will make some reference to properties, and some of the leading views even reduce laws to properties. This chapter will first outline what laws of nature are typically taken to be and then specify their connection to properties in more detail. We then move on to consider three different accounts of properties: natural, essential, and dispositional properties, and we shall see that different conceptions of properties also result in different views of the modal status of laws, such as the question of whether laws are metaphysically necessary or contingent. Finally, there are also important links specifically between properties, natural kinds, and laws of nature that deserve our attention.

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Tuomas E. Tahko
University of Bristol

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