Laws of Nature: do we need a metaphysics?

Vol 11, No 2 (2007) • Principia: an international journal of epistemology

Autor: Michel Ghins


In this paper, I briefly present the regularity and necessity views and assess their difficulties. I construe scientific laws as universal propositions satisfied by empirically successful scientific models and made — approximately — true by the real systems represented, albeit partially, by these models. I also conceive a scientific theory as a set of models together with a set of propositions, some of which are laws. A scientific law is a universal proposition or statement that belongs to a scientific theory. Scientific laws also are laws of nature since we can provide arguments in favour of natural causal powers that ground the truth of laws. I argue that the truth of counterfactual conditional statements and the occurrence of regularities in nature provide good reasons to believe that real causal powers exist in nature and that the (approximate) truth of scientific laws is based on a metaphysics of nature.

ISSN: 1414-4217


Texto Completo:

Palavras-Chave: Lei da Natureza; Disposições; Poderes Causais

Principia: an international journal of epistemology

"Principia: an international journal of epistemology" was founded in 1997 and regularly publishes articles, discussions and review. The journal aims to publish original scholarly work especially in epistemology area , with an emphasis on material of general interest to academic philosophers. Originally published only in print version (ISSN: 1414-4247), in 2005 the journal began to be published also in online version (ISSN: 1808-1711). Since 1999 are published three issues per year: in April, August and December. Qualis CAPES: A2