Title

Humean laws and explanation

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Philosophical Studies

Publication Date

12-2015

Volume

172

Issue

12

First Page

3145

Last Page

3165

Publisher

Springer Netherlands

Keywords

Humeanism, Laws, Explanation, Grounding, Kit Fine, David Lewis

Abstract

A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which Humeans should regard as laws. I will then conclude by rebutting a variant of this objection that appeals to a principle of metaphysical explanation recently put forward by Kit Fine.

DOI

10.1007/s11098-015-0462-9

Print ISSN

00318116

E-ISSN

15730883

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Marshall, D. (2015). Humean laws and explanation. Philosophical Studies, 172(12), 3145–3165. doi: 10.1007/s11098-015-0462-9

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