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Interfering with Nomological Necessity

Schrenk, Markus (2011) Interfering with Nomological Necessity. [Published Article]

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    David Armstrong’s law-maker, nomological necessity (N), is a second order relational universal that holds between state of affairs types, e.g., N(F, G). With only a small proviso, nomological necessity is supposed to instantiate as the causation of its second relatum, G, whenever its first relatum, F, instantiates. — In this paper, I will show that there is some friction within this theory when we consider that causal processes can be prevented and interfered with. The above mentioned proviso is supposed to handle these case but, so I argue, it fails to do so. — The critique here presented generalises to any theory of lawhood that utilises a kind of necessitation as lawmaker. Thus, Armstrong’s case can serve as a sample for all such theories. — Plausible means of resolving the difficulties will be presented.

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    Item Type: Published Article
    Keywords: Armstrong, laws of nature, causation, nomological necessity, prevention and interference, exceptions, ceteris paribus
    Subjects: General Issues > Causation
    General Issues > Laws of Nature
    Depositing User: Prof. Markus Schrenk
    Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2011 11:22
    Last Modified: 31 Dec 2011 11:22
    Item ID: 8976
    Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Quarterly
    Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
    Official URL:

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