Laws are not descriptions

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Laudisa, Federico
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preprint description
The view that takes laws of nature to be essentially nothing more than descriptions of facts is still rather popular. The present paper, on the contrary, defends the claim that the only real motivation for defending a descriptive view of laws – the quest for ontological parsimony – entails too high a price to pay in philosophical terms. It is argued that nomic primitivism, namely the alternative option that takes laws to be primitive fundamental entities in our ontology, is decisively more appealing, since it is the crucial role assigned to laws what makes a scientific theory of natural phenomena a system rather than a list. Finally, the implications that nomic primitivism might have on the issue of the status of the wave function in that particular formulation of quantum mechanics known as Bohmian mechanics are considered.