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A perspectivalist better best system account of lawhood

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    Rights statement: This is a draft of a chapter that has been accepted for publication by Oxford University Press in the book "Laws of Nature" edited by Walter Ott and Lydia Patton due for publication in 2018.

    Accepted author manuscript, 438 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaws of Nature
EditorsWalter Ott, Lydia Patton
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198746775
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2018


On David Lewis’s influential view, modal facts supervene on the mosaic of non-modal facts about sparse natural properties. I defend a Lewisian account of laws that abandons this supervenience claim in order to avoid the objections of subjectivity and lack of necessity that bedeviled Lewis’s original view. On my view, it is not the Humean mosaic of sparse natural properties that ultimately grounds laws of nature. Instead, it is the (always renegotiable) balance between our ever changing and perspectival standards of simplicity and strength that grounds laws of nature. My view reveals some unexpected resources available to a Humean account of lawhood, at the price of dispensing with Humean supervenience.

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