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Laws and Lawmakers Science, Metaphysics, and the Laws of Nature | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Laws and Lawmakers Science, Metaphysics, and the Laws of Nature

Marc Lange


Laws of nature have long puzzled philosophers. What distinguishes laws from facts about the world that do not rise to the level of laws? How can laws be contingent and nevertheless necessary? In what sense are the laws necessary like the broadly logical truths, yet not as necessary as those truths? What are the “lawmakers”: the facts in virtue of which the laws are laws? This book offers provocative and original answers to these questions. It argues that laws are distinguished by their necessity, which is grounded in primitive subjunctive facts (expressed by counterfactual conditionals). This ... More

Keywords: natural laws, laws of nature, laws, accidents, chance, counterfactuals, modality, necessity, physical necessity, essentialism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195328134
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328134.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marc Lange, author
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Author Webpage