A Theory of Non-universal Laws

Citation data:

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0269-8595, Vol: 25, Issue: 2, Page: 97-117

Publication Year:
2011
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9035
DOI:
10.1080/02698595.2011.574853
Author(s):
Reutlinger, Alexander
Publisher(s):
Informa UK Limited
Tags:
Arts and Humanities
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article description
Laws in the special sciences are usually regarded to be non-universal. A theory of laws in the special sciences faces two challenges. (I) According to Lange's dilemma, laws in the special sciences are either false or trivially true. (II) They have to meet the 'requirement of relevance', which is a way to require the non-accidentality of special science laws. I argue that both challenges can be met if one distinguishes four dimensions of (non-) universality. The upshot is that I argue for the following explication of special science laws: L is a special science law just if (1) L is a system law, (2) L is quasi-Newtonian, and (3) L is minimally invariant. © 2011 Open Society Foundation.

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