Laws and Lawmakers

Author: Marc Lange
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199886903
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What distinguishes laws of nature from ordinary facts? What are the "lawmakers": the facts in virtue of which the laws are laws? How can laws be necessary, yet contingent? Lange provocatively argues that laws are distinguished by their necessity, which is grounded in primitive subjunctive facts, while also providing a non-technical and accessible survey of the field.

Nature s Metaphysics

Author: Alexander Bird
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199227012
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Bird, a world-leader in the field, offers an original approach to key issues in philosophy. He discusses hot topics in metaphysics and the philosophy of science.

Laws of Nature

Author: John W. Carroll
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521433341
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John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that empirically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author argues that these phenomena are inextricably intertwined with everything else.

Readings on Laws of Nature

Author: John W. Carroll
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780822958529
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As a subject of inquiry, laws of nature exist in the overlap between metaphysics and the philosophy of science. Over the past three decades, this area of study has become increasingly central to the philosophy of science. It also has relevance to a variety of topics in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and epistemology. Readings on Laws of Nature is the first anthology to offer a contemporary history of the problem of laws. The book is organized around three key issues: the matter of distinguishing laws from mere correlations, questions concerning inductive reasoning and laws, and the consideration of whether there are any true laws in science. Designed for class use, the anthology covers a remarkably broad range of views and concerns, and consists exclusively of articles that have proved highly influential in the field. Readings on Laws of Nature will also serve as a valuable research and reference tool for philosophers who do not specialize in the subject, but who have occasion to examine concepts relating to the laws of nature in their own work.

Knowing

Author: Michael Munowitz
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195167376
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Heavily illustrated with explanatory drawings and diagrams, this volume takes readers to the edge of modern science, allowing them to peer in further than they would have dreamed possible.

The Divine Lawmaker

Author: John Foster
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 0191530557
Format: PDF, ePub
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John Foster presents a clear and powerful discussion of a range of topics relating to our understanding of the universe: induction, laws of nature, and the existence of God. He begins by developing a solution to the problem of induction - a solution whose key idea is that the regularities in the workings of nature that have held in our experience hitherto are to be explained by appeal to the controlling influence of laws, as forms of natural necessity. His second line of argument focuses on the issue of what we should take such necessitational laws to be, and whether we can even make sense of them at all. Having considered and rejected various alternatives, Foster puts forward his own proposal: the obtaining of a law consists in the causal imposing of a regularity on the universe as a regularity. With this causal account of laws in place, he is now equipped to offer an argument for theism. His claim is that natural regularities call for explanation, and that, whatever explanatory role we may initially assign to laws, the only plausible ultimate explanation is in terms of the agency of God. Finally, he argues that, once we accept the existence of God, we need to think of him as creating the universe by a method which imposes regularities on it in the relevant law-yielding way. In this new perspective, the original nomological-explanatory solution to the problem of induction becomes a theological-explanatory solution. The Divine Lawmaker is bold and original in its approach, and rich in argument. The issues on which it focuses are among the most important in the whole epistemological and metaphysical spectrum.

Laws And Symmetry

Author: Bas C. Van Fraassen
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN:
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Metaphysicians speak of laws of nature in terms of necessity and universality; scientists, in terms of symmetry and invariance. In this book van Fraassen argues that no metaphysical account of laws can succeed. He analyzes and rejects the arguments that there are laws of nature, or that we must believe there are, and argues that we should disregard the idea of law as an inadequate clue to science. After exploring what this means for general epistemology, the author develops the empiricist view of science as a construction of models to represent the phenomena.

Metaphysics of Science

Author: Markus Schrenk
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317273052
Format: PDF
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Metaphysics and science have a long but troubled relationship. In the twentieth century the Logical Positivists argued metaphysics was irrelevant and that philosophy should be guided by science. However, metaphysics and science attempt to answer many of the same, fundamental questions: What are laws of nature? What is causation? What are natural kinds? In this book, Markus Schrenk examines and explains the central questions and problems in the metaphysics of science. He reviews the development of the field from the early modern period through to the latest research, systematically assessing key topics including: dispositions counterfactual conditionals laws of nature causation properties natural kinds essence necessity. With the addition of chapter summaries and annotated further reading, Metaphysics of Science is a much-needed, clear and informative survey of this exciting area of philosophical research. It is essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy of science and metaphysics.

Metaphysics and Science

Author: Stephen Mumford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199674523
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This collection brings together the latest new work within an emerging philosophical discipline: the metaphysics of science. A new definition of this line of philosophical enquiry is developed, and leading academics offer original essays on four key topics at the heart of the subject—laws, causation, natural kinds, and emergence.

Because Without Cause

Author: Marc Lange
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190269499
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. Some mathematical proofs explain why the theorems being proved hold. In this book, Marc Lange proposes philosophical accounts of many kinds of non-causal explanations in science and mathematics. These topics have been unjustly neglected in the philosophy of science and mathematics. One important kind of non-causal scientific explanation is termed explanation by constraint. These explanations work by providing information about what makes certain facts especially inevitable - more necessary than the ordinary laws of nature connecting causes to their effects. Facts explained in this way transcend the hurly-burly of cause and effect. Many physicists have regarded the laws of kinematics, the great conservation laws, the coordinate transformations, and the parallelogram of forces as having explanations by constraint. This book presents an original account of explanations by constraint, concentrating on a variety of examples from classical physics and special relativity. This book also offers original accounts of several other varieties of non-causal scientific explanation. Dimensional explanations work by showing how some law of nature arises merely from the dimensional relations among the quantities involved. Really statistical explanations include explanations that appeal to regression toward the mean and other canonical manifestations of chance. Lange provides an original account of what makes certain mathematical proofs but not others explain what they prove. Mathematical explanation connects to a host of other important mathematical ideas, including coincidences in mathematics, the significance of giving multiple proofs of the same result, and natural properties in mathematics. Introducing many examples drawn from actual science and mathematics, with extended discussions of examples from Lagrange, Desargues, Thomson, Sylvester, Maxwell, Rayleigh, Einstein, and Feynman, Because Without Cause's proposals and examples should set the agenda for future work on non-causal explanation.