Natural Laws in Scientific Practice
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 roles that 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.
2 THE RELATION OF LAWS TO COUNTERFACTUALS
3 WHY ARE THE LAWS OF NATURE SO IMPORTANT TO SCIENCE I?
4 INDUCTIVE CONFIRMABILITY AND PHYSICAL NECESSITY
5 WHY ARE THE LAWS OF NATURE SO IMPORTANT TO SCIENCE II?
6 LAWS REGULARITIES AND PROVISOS
7 THE ROOT COMMITMENT
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