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Necessary Laws and the Problem of Counterlegals

Kimpton-Nye, Samuel (2019) Necessary Laws and the Problem of Counterlegals. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Substantive counterlegal discourse poses a problem for those according to whom the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. I discern two types of necessitarianism about laws: Dispositional Essentialism and Modal Necessitarianism. I argue that Handfield (2004)’s response to the problem of counterlegals cannot help the Modal Necessitarian, according to whom all possible worlds are identical with respect to the laws. I thus propose a fictionalist treatment of counterlegals. Fictions are not limited by metaphysical possibility, hence, fictionalism affords the Modal Necessitarian the means to account for the apparent substance of counterlegals even granting the metaphysical necessity of the laws.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kimpton-Nye, Samuel
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Fictionalism, Realism, Modality, Counterlegals, Laws of Nature, Scientific Modeling
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Mr Samuel Kimpton-Nye
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2019 02:02
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2019 02:02
Item ID: 16324
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16324

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