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Making best systems best for us

Jaag, Siegfried and Loew, Christian (2018) Making best systems best for us. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Humean reductionism about laws of nature appears to leave a central aspect of scientific practice unmotivated: If the world’s fundamental structure is exhausted by the actual distribution of non-modal properties and the laws of nature are merely efficient summaries of this distribution, then why does science posit laws that cover a wide range of non-actual circumstances? In this paper, we develop a new version of the Humean best systems account of laws based on the idea that laws need to organize information in a way that maximizes their cognitive usefulness for creature like us. We argue that this account motivates scientific practice because the laws’ applicability to non-actual circumstances falls right out of their cognitive usefulness.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jaag, Siegfriedsiegfried.jaag@hhu.de
Loew, Christiancloew@uni-koeln.de
Keywords: Laws of nature Best systems account Humeanism Modality
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Christian Loew
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2018 14:02
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2018 14:02
Item ID: 14730
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14730

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