You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities*
Holly K. Andersen
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 325-331
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/659229
Page Count: 7
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Leuridan argued that mechanisms cannot provide a genuine alternative to laws of nature as a model of explanation in the sciences, and he advocates Mitchell’s pragmatic account of laws. I first demonstrate that Leuridan gets the order of priority wrong among mechanisms, regularity, and laws, and then make some clarifying remarks about how laws and mechanisms relate to regularities. Mechanisms are not an explanatory alternative to regularities; they are an alternative to laws. The existence of stable regularities in nature is necessary for either model of explanation: regularities are what laws describe and what mechanisms explain.
Copyright 2011 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.