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The Babylonian conception and conventionalism about laws in physics

Frisch, Mathias (2022) The Babylonian conception and conventionalism about laws in physics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper I discuss two features of laws in physics and ask to what extent these features are compatible with different philosophical accounts of laws of nature. These features are (i) that laws in physics fit what Richard Feynman has dubbed the "Babylonian conception" of physics, according to which laws in physics form an interlocking set of ‘theorems’; and (ii) that the distinction between dynamics and kinematics is to some extent contextual. These features, I argue, put pressure on any philosophical account of laws that presupposes that the laws of physics have a unique quasi-axiomatic structure, such as the Mill-Ramsey-Lewis account of laws and metaphysical accounts of laws that assume that there is a privileged explanatory nomological hierarchy.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Frisch, Mathiasmathias.frisch@philos.uni-hannover.de0000-0002-1027-3796
Subjects: General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Mathias Frisch
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 05:14
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 05:14
Item ID: 20144
Subjects: General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20144

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