Laws of Nature

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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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...up-to-date, accurate, and incisive, and it is presented with exemplary clarity and care. The combination of these virtues make this book at once one the finest and most sophisticated contributions to the literature on laws, and a valuable place for the newcomer to begin....this book presents ingenious and forceful arguments against the reigning reductive approach to laws, and its antirealist fallback. And these same arguments also motivate an alternative, more robustly realist account of the semantics and epistemology of laws of the kind Carroll has himself begun to trace out." Mind

"[Carroll]...has an impressive grasp of the literature and many things to say that specialists will find stimulating and important....his lively, unpretentious style makes the book a splendid introduction to the topics of laws and causation." The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

"Anyone who is interested in the metaphysics of laws of nature should find Carroll's book stimulating and worthwhile." Michael Tooley, The Philosophical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521064132
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/5/2008
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Centrality; 2. Humean analyses; 3. Humean supervenience; 4. A realist perspective; 5. Causation; 6. The limits of inquiry; Appendix A: nomic platonism; Appendix B: defending (SC); References; Index.

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