How the Laws of Physics Lie

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OUP Oxford, Jun 9, 1983 - Science - 230 pages
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In this sequence of philosophical essays about natural science, Nancy Cartwright argues that fundamental explanatory laws, the deepest and most admired successes of modern physics, do not in fact describe the regularities that exist in nature. Yet she is not `anti-realist'. Rather, she draws a novel distinction, arguing that theoretical entities, and the complex and localized laws that describe them, can be interpreted realistically, but that the simple unifying laws of basic theory cannot.
 

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User Review  - smartalecvt - LibraryThing

This is one of the great originals in the philosophy of science. It's a treatise on how science abstracts away reality to get to its laws, and in so doing, loses its ability to truthfully describe reality. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Essay 1 Causal Laws and Effective Strategies
21
Essay 2 The Truth Doesnt Explain Much
44
Essay 3 Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?
54
Essay 4 The Reality of Causes in a World of Instrumental Laws
74
Essay 5 When Explanation Leads to Inference
87
Essay 6 For Phenomenological Laws
100
Essay 7 Fitting Facts to Equations
128
Essay 8 The Simulacrum Account of Explanation
143
Essay 9 How the Measurement Problem is an Artefact of the Mathematics
163
Author Index
217
Subject Index
219
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