History and Philosophy Of Science | SPECIAL TOPICS: Law of Nature
X755 | 17704 | Christopher Martin

X755: Special Topics:  Laws of Nature
Christopher Martin
2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

What is a law of nature? In this course we survey the literature
concerning the concept of “law of nature”. We begin by considering
how the concept originated, historically.  Then, we go on to
critically examine the myriad views/positions regarding laws: among
them, the "no laws" view, regularity accounts (both the so-called
naïve regularity account and various sophisticated regularity
accounts), numerous necessitarian accounts, resiliency accounts,
epistemic accounts, laws as inference rules, the role of ceteris
paribus clauses, etc. Finally, depending on the interests of the
seminar participants, we spend some time considering the particular
status/role of laws in several special sciences: physics, biology,
and the social sciences.