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Laws are conditionals

Friend, T; (2016) Laws are conditionals. European Journal for Philosophy of Science , 6 (1) pp. 123-144. 10.1007/s13194-015-0131-z. Green open access

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Abstract

The ubiquitous schema ‘All Fs are Gs’ dominates much philosophical discussion on laws but rarely is it shown how actual laws mentioned and used in science are supposed to fit it. After consideration of a variety of laws, including those obviously conditional and those superficially not conditional (such as equations), I argue that we have good reason to support the traditional interpretation of laws as conditionals of some quantified form with a single object variable. I show how this conclusion impacts on the status of ‘system laws’ and the significance of having only one object variable with regard to the relationship between laws and causal relations.

Type: Article
Title: Laws are conditionals
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s13194-015-0131-z
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13194-015-0131-z
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2015. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Laws nature Logical form Conditionals System Equations
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476601
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