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The Strong Arm of the Law - A Unified Account of Necessary and Contingent Laws of Nature

Hirèche, Salim and Linnemann, Niels and Michels, Robert and Vogt, Lisa (2021) The Strong Arm of the Law - A Unified Account of Necessary and Contingent Laws of Nature. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A common feature of all standard theories of the laws of nature is that they are ``absolutist'': They take laws to be either all metaphysically necessary or all contingent.
Science, however, gives us reason to think that there are laws of both kinds, suggesting that standard theories should make way for `non-absolutist' alternatives: theories which accommodate laws of both modal statuses. In this paper, we set out three explanatory challenges for any candidate non-absolutist theory, and argue that neither of the two existing candidates meets them all. We then develop our own non-absolutist theory, the essentialist DTA account, which combines the nomic-necessitation or DTA account with an essentialist approach to metaphysical modality in order to meet the three explanatory challenges. Finally, we argue that the distinction between kinematical and dynamical laws found in physical theories supports both non-absolutism in general and our proposed essentialist DTA view in particular.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hirèche, Salim
Linnemann, Niels0000-0002-3695-8611
Michels, Robert
Vogt, Lisa
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Synthese.
Keywords: laws of nature hybrid law account naturalised metaphysics Armstrong
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Niels Linnemann
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 03:44
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2021 03:44
Item ID: 19134
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Date: June 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19134

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