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Research Article

Laws, Exceptions and Dispositions

Max Kistler    Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France

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abstract

Can laws of nature be universal regularities and nevertheless have exceptions? Several answers to this question, in particular the thesis that there are no laws outside of fundamental physics, are examined and rejected. It is suggested that one can account for exceptions by conceiving of laws as strictly universal determination relations between (instances of) properties. When a natural property is instantiated, laws of nature give rise to other, typically dispositional properties. In exceptional situations, such properties manifest themselves either in an unusual way or not at all.

Keywords: Law of nature. Exception. Disposition. Proviso. Ceteris paribus.

Language: en

Published: June 30, 2020  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/Jolma//2020/01/004

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