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Laws, Mind, and Free Will$
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Steven Horst

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015257

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015257.001.0001

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Empiricism and Laws

Empiricism and Laws

(p.49) 5 Empiricism and Laws
Laws, Mind, and Free Will

Steven Horst

The MIT Press

This chapter presents an alternative analysis and critique of Empiricism, one not rooted in Nancy Cartwright's groundbreaking work. Although Cartwright's critique is an important contribution to the philosophy of science, her arguments have not garnered universal acceptance. Many of her critics claim to have difficulty understanding what she is arguing at all, and some interpret her in significantly different ways from what has been suggested in this book thus far. The author also proposes a formulation of a “causal” account of laws that is somewhat different from Cartwright's, one which employs a cognitivist framework for understanding what laws are in the business of doing. It is also argued that some of Cartwright's statements echo certain of the assumptions of the Empiricists she is criticizing—assumptions which we would do better to abandon.

Keywords:   philosophy of science, Empiricism, Cartwright, causal account, cognitivist framework

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