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The Law-Governed Universe$
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John T. Roberts

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557707.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 November 2019

The law‐governed world‐picture

The law‐governed world‐picture

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The law‐governed world‐picture
Source:
The Law-Governed Universe
Author(s):

John T. Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557707.003.0001

The idea that science has discovered that our universe is governed by laws of nature is arguably an important part of the modern scientific world‐view. The distinction between laws and other truths discovered by science is essential in at least some scientific reasoning, for example in statistical mechanics. The idea that laws of nature really govern the universe—and that they are not merely regularities that form an elegant system, as they are according to proponents of Humeanism (e.g. David Lewis)—turns out to play a crucial role in much scientific reasoning having to do with so‐called fine‐tuning. This chapter offers a formulation of the law‐governed world‐picture and outlines an argument for a new account of lawhood that vindicates that picture.

Keywords:   laws of nature, laws, universe, statistical mechanics, David Lewis, Humeanism, fine‐tuning

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