Natural Laws in Scientific Practice

Paperback | May 30, 2007

byMarc Lange

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It is often presumed that the laws of nature have special significance for scientific reasoning. But the laws' distinctive roles have proven notoriously difficult to identify--leading some philosophers to question if they hold such roles at all. This study offers original accounts of the rolesthat natural laws play in connection with counterfactual conditionals, inductive projections, and scientific explanations, and of what the laws must be in order for them to be capable of playing these roles. Particular attention is given to laws of special sciences, levels of scientific explanation,natural kinds, ceteris-paribus clauses, and physically necessary non-laws.

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It is often presumed that the laws of nature have special significance for scientific reasoning. But the laws' distinctive roles have proven notoriously difficult to identify--leading some philosophers to question if they hold such roles at all. This study offers original accounts of the rolesthat natural laws play in connection with c...

Marc Lange is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:May 30, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195331338

ISBN - 13:9780195331332

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Relation of Laws to Counterfactuals3. Why are the Laws of Nature So Importance to Science (I)?4. Inductive Confirmability and Physical Necessity5. Why are the Laws of Nature So important to Science (II)?6. Laws, Regularities, and Provisos7. The Root Commitment8. The Autonomy of Scientific Disciplines and Levels of Scientific ExplanationAfterwordNotesReferencesIndex