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Scientific Law: A Perspectival Account

John F. Halpin
Erkenntnis (1975-)
Vol. 58, No. 2 (Mar., 2003), pp. 137-168
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20013187
Page Count: 32
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Scientific Law: A Perspectival Account
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Abstract

An acceptable empiricist account of laws of nature would have significant implications for a number of philosophical projects. For example, such an account may vitiate arguments that the fundamental constants of nature are divinely designed so that laws produce a life permitting universe. On an empiricist account, laws do not produce the universe but are designed by us to systematize the events of a universe which does in fact contain life; so any "fine tuning" of natural law has a naturalistic explanation. But there are problems for the empiricist project. This paper develops a "perspectival" version of the Humean best system approach and argues that this version solves the standard problems faced by the empiricist project. Furthermore, the paper argues, this version is best able to answer the proponents of divine design while leaving scientific law a suitably objective matter.

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