Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For a long time the analytic tradition in philosophy of science focused on two main questions about laws: ‘Can one reasonably take a realist stand about the laws of science?’ and ‘What distinguishes a law from other kinds of truths, especially from universal and statistical truths that are not laws?’ This article discusses five overlapping positions that downplay the role of laws in science and nature. The slogan of all of these could be Ronald Giere's ‘Science without laws!’ Before that the second section describes more traditional views that take laws as central, either as the repository of scientific knowledge (laws of science) or as the basic sources or governors for what happens (laws of nature).

Keywords: analytic philosophy, philosophy of science, laws of science, statistical truths, scientific knowledge, laws of nature

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.