|Laws of Nature, philosophy: laws of nature (physical laws) are descriptions of dependencies of physical quantities among each other. From the fact that these are descriptions, it follows that these are no regulations in the sense of e.g. legal regulations. N. Goodman suggests in “Fact, Fiction and Forecast” (1954) that natural laws should be formulated in the form of irreal conditional sentences (also known as counterfactual conditionals); If A were the case, B would have been the case. See also counterfactual conditionals, irreal conditionals, laws, lawlikeness, law statements._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
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Laws of nature/LoN/Lewis: May not be sacrosanct - i.e. it must be possible to violate them - otherwise one would have to change the entire past in order to avoid a side effect (epiphenomenon) - if they were sacrosanct, the smallest counterfactual assumption (the smallest change in the present) would be only conceivable when assuming a completely different story - but there is no reason why a later deviation required more injury than an earlier one.
Laws of Nature/LoN/regularities/Lewis: cause nothing themselves._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989
Konventionen Berlin 1975
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986
Cl. I. Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991