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Nature's MetaphysicsLaws and Properties$
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Alexander Bird

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227013

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227013.001.0001

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The Illusion of Nomic Contingency

The Illusion of Nomic Contingency

Chapter:
(p.169) 8 The Illusion of Nomic Contingency
Source:
Nature's Metaphysics
Author(s):

Alexander Bird (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227013.003.0008

The laws of nature are widely held to be contingent. As Chapter 3 showed, dispositional essentialism is committed to the necessity of the laws of nature. This argues that the apparent contingency of the laws of nature is an illusion, and that our intuitions in this respect are unreliable. It is shown that a contingentist view about the fundamental laws is nonetheless committed to the necessity of certain supervening laws that also seem to be contingent. Modifying a strategy from Kripke, the illusion of metaphysical contingency and its relationship to epistemic contingency are explained.

Keywords:   laws of nature, contingency, necessity, intuition, imagination, epistemic possibility, Kripke

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