The Law-Governed Universe

The Law-Governed Universe

by John T. Roberts
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199557705

ISBN-13: 9780199557707

Pub. Date: 01/15/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press


John T. Roberts presents and defends a radically new theory of laws of nature, the Measurability Account. Though consistent with a Humean ontology, Roberts's theory differs sharply from the most influential Humean theory of laws, David Lewis's Best-System Analysis. Unlike other Humean theories, the Measurability Account affirms that there is an important sense in…  See more details below

Overview


John T. Roberts presents and defends a radically new theory of laws of nature, the Measurability Account. Though consistent with a Humean ontology, Roberts's theory differs sharply from the most influential Humean theory of laws, David Lewis's Best-System Analysis. Unlike other Humean theories, the Measurability Account affirms that there is an important sense in which the laws govern the universe, rather than simply describing it economically. Yet unlike non-Humean theories, it requires only minimal metaphysical commitments. In this way, it combines the advantages of Humean and non-Humean approaches to laws, while avoiding the pitfalls of each. At the heart of the Measurability Account are two new ideas: that lawhood is not a property of facts but rather a role that a proposition can play within a scientific theory, and that what is essential to laws is that they guarantee the reliability of methods of measuring natural quantities. On the basis of these ideas, Roberts argues that we can offer an informative and compelling explanation of why laws have the peculiar counterfactual resilience that sets them apart from accidental uniformities.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199557707
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/15/2009
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

1. The law-governed world-picture
2. In defense of some received views
3. The meta-theoretic conception of laws
4. An epistemological argument for the meta-theoretic conception of laws
5. Laws, governing, and counterfactuals
6. When would the laws have been different?
7. How could science show that the laws govern?
8. Measurement and counterfactuals
9. What lawhood is
10. Beyond Humean and Non-Humean
Appendix: The MAL in action: A few examples of scientific theories and their laws

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >