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Dappled Theories in a Uniform World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

It has been argued, most trenchantly by Nancy Cartwright, that the diversity of the concepts and regularities we actually use to describe nature and predict and explain its behavior leaves us with no reason to believe that our foundational physical theories actually “apply” outside of delicately contrived systems within the laboratory. This paper argues that, diversity of method notwithstanding, there is indeed good reason to think that the foundational laws of physics are universal in their scope.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

To contact the author write to Department of Philosophy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; e-mail: lsklar@umich.edu.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0211011. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

References

Batterman, Robert (2002), The Devil in the Details. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Cartwright, Nancy (1999), The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dupré, John (1993), The Disorder of Things. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Newton, Isaac (1947), Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translation revised by Florian Cajori. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Sklar, Lawrence (1993), Physics and Chance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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