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Causation in Science and the Methods of Scientific Discovery$
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Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733669.001.0001

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Does Science Need Laws of Nature?

Does Science Need Laws of Nature?

(p.146) 18 Does Science Need Laws of Nature?
Causation in Science and the Methods of Scientific Discovery

Rani Lill Anjum

Stephen Mumford

Oxford University Press

There is a view that as well as causation, science invokes general laws of nature. In one account, the universe is law-governed, but it is not clear whether this is to be understood literally or not. The generality of laws is useful in prediction and explanation. Laws provide also systematicity and simplicity. But it is questionable what the real being of laws is. Their being might reduce to singular powers or tendencies of individual things. While laws could be used in prediction and explanation, it is not clear that laws are indispensable for this purpose. Singular powers might be able to play the same role: or play it better.

Keywords:   governance, properties, covering Law, causation, science

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