INTERFERING WITH NOMOLOGICAL NECESSITY: Interfering with Nomological Necessity

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The Philosophical Quarterly, ISSN: 0031-8094, Vol: 61, Issue: 244, Page: 577-597

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Schrenk, Markus
Oxford University Press (OUP); Wiley-Blackwell
Arts and Humanities
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Since causal processes can be prevented and interfered with, law-governed causation is a challenge for necessitarian theories of laws of nature. To show that there is a problematic friction between necessity and interference, I focus on David Armstrong's theory; with one proviso, his lawmaker, nomological necessity, is supposed to be instantiated as the causation of the law's second relatum whenever its first relatum is instantiated. His proviso is supposed to handle interference cases, but fails to do so. In order to be able to handle interferences, any theory which utilizes a kind of necessitation as lawmaker has to downgrade what it treats as necessity to something more akin to (Newtonian) forces. © 2010 The Author.