What Price Changing Laws of Nature?

Olivier Sartenaer, Alexandre Guay, Paul Humphreys

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this paper, we show that it is not a conceptual truth about laws of nature that they are immutable (though we are happy to leave it as an open empirical question whether they do actually change once in a while). In order to do so, we survey three popular accounts of lawhood—(Armstrong-style) necessitarianism, (Bird-style) dispositionalism and (Lewis-style) ‘best system analysis’—and expose the extent, as well as the philosophical cost, of the amendments that should be enforced in order to leave room for the possibility of changing laws.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number12
    JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
    Issue number1
    Early online date13 Nov 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


    • Change in law
    • Dispositionalism
    • Humeanism
    • Law of nature
    • Necessitarianism


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