John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author argues that these phenomena are inextricably intertwined with everything else. This distinctively clear and detailed discussion of what it is to be a law will be valuable to a broad swathe of philosophers in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of science.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 375 g
Dimensions: 223 x 146 x 20 mm
"...up-to-date, accurate, and incisive, and it is presented with exemplary clarity and care. The combination of these virtues make this book at once one the finest and most sophisticated contributions to the literature on laws, and a valuable place for the newcomer to begin....this book presents ingenious and forceful arguments against the reigning reductive approach to laws, and its antirealist fallback. And these same arguments also motivate an alternative, more robustly realist account of the semantics and epistemology of laws of the kind Carroll has himself begun to trace out." Mind
"[Carroll]...has an impressive grasp of the literature and many things to say that specialists will find stimulating and important....his lively, unpretentious style makes the book a splendid introduction to the topics of laws and causation." The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
"Anyone who is interested in the metaphysics of laws of nature should find Carroll's book stimulating and worthwhile." Michael Tooley, The Philosophical Review