Going back to Armstrong (1983, 40), there have been challenges for those who have a Humean representation of laws, and whether Humean laws are explanatory. More recently, Maudlin has posed the challenge cleverly: however, proponents of necessity often have great difficulty in adhering to the notion of the statistical laws of nature. What kind of metaphysical “mechanism” could manifest itself in statistical generalities? Could there be stochastic nomicity? Popper addressed this problem and suggested what he called “probability theory.” According to him, for example, each radium atom would have its “own” (?) tendency to decay by 50% over the next 1,600 years. Popper really saw the problem that statistical laws pose for necessitarianism, but his solution gained little, if any, from other subscribers. For regularists, such solutions appear as proof of the impracticability and costability of necessitarianism. They are the sure sign of a theory that is very much in difficulty. Physicist Paul C. Davies comments, “. To be a scientist, one had to believe that the universe is governed by reliable, immutable, absolute, universal mathematical laws of unspecified origin. You must believe that these laws will not fail, that we will not wake up tomorrow to find heat flowing from cold to hot, or that the speed of light changes every hour. Over the years, I have often asked my fellow physicists why the laws of physics are what they are. The preferred answer is, “There`s no reason for them to be who they are – they`re simple. 5 Questions remain about the nature of this causal relationship, which is understood as a relationship that connects both symbolic events and universals.
(See van Fraassen 1993, 435-437 and Carroll 1994, 170-174.) Some of these implications include random truths, existential falsehoods, the theory of truth correspondence, and the concept of free will. Perhaps the most important implication of any theory is whether the universe is a cosmic coincidence or whether it is guided by specific and eternal laws of nature. Each side takes a different position on each of these issues, and adopting one of the two theories is tantamount to abandoning one or more strong beliefs about the nature of the world. I will use lowercase letters for statements that do not refer to regularity, necessity, counterfactual conditions, etc. — what I will call “subnomian” statements. (For example, p could be the claim that all emeralds are green, but p might not mean “It is a law that all emeralds are green.”) We have arrived at the following proposition to distinguish laws from accidents: m is a law if and only if m would still have been true, if p had been true, for each p that is logically in agreement with all the facts n (taken together), where n is a law. We can now understand what makes the laws of nature necessary and how their diversity of necessity differs from the largely logical necessity. According to the definition of “stability”, the members of a stable whole would all have kept motionless under a subnomian counterfactual precursor with which they are all logically coherent. That is, the members of a stable whole would all have kept the whole thing under an undereconomic counterfactual precursor, under which they could all still have kept it (i.e. without contradiction).
In other words, members of a stable group are collectively as resilient among nonomic counterfactual precursors as they could be collectively. They are of maximum resilience. This makes them necessary. Bob: What`s the best alternative? No laws? Chaos? All modern science is based on the belief that rational laws exist in the universe. The main category of modern scientists who advanced the study and discovery of these laws were men and women who believed in the existence of an Almighty God. What for? They imagined that the universe follows the laws corresponding to the rationality and majesty of God the Creator. Just as God is constant and unchanging, there is a constant nature of science. They believed that God had created the universe to function legally, according to divine reason and with glorious beauty. Scientific laws summarize the results of experiments or observations, usually in a specific field of application. In general, the accuracy of a law does not change when a new theory of the relevant phenomenon is developed, but the scope of the law, since the mathematics or statement that the law represents does not change. As with other types of scientific knowledge, scientific laws do not express absolute certainty, as do mathematical theorems or identities.
A scientific law can be refuted, limited or expanded by future observations. The laws of nature are impossible to break and almost as difficult to define. What kind of necessity do they possess? The best analysis of systems looks like a fairly practical approach to the laws of nature. Scientists look at all the information they have about the universe (or any aspect of it) and try to develop a system, a theory, to describe that information. In doing so, they usually find that certain basic assumptions allow them to derive a lot of information about the facts they observe. For example, if you have experimented with fallen objects, you will have noticed that they always seem to fall to the ground. So a good basic assumption on which your theory is based may be something like “soil attracts things.” If you take this as a fundamental fact, then many of the phenomena that you observe suddenly make sense. Such a basic assumption is a candidate for what we might call a law. Dretske`s reaction to this quote was to conclude that natural laws are not universally quantified conditions; that these are not mere generalizations. Instead, it was thought that laws should be a different type of thing: a relationship between universals, physically necessary generalizations, or a true axiom or theorem of an ideal system, or even a metaphysically necessary generalization. Another approach needs to be considered, perhaps, just maybe, the laws of nature are generalizations and are simply not explanatory in a very significant way. It is an approach that identifies what type of entity is a law of nature.
What`s wrong with not distinguishing between random generalizations and the “true” laws of nature? Only this (say the Necessitists): If there is a virtually unlimited number of natural laws, then (as we have seen above) any existential false statement turns out to be physically impossible and (again) the distinction between (simple) failure and misfortune is erased. Natural laws differ from each other in many ways. Some laws concern the general structure of space-time, while others concern a particular inhabitant of space-time (such as the law that gold does not rust). Some laws relate causes to their effects (since Coulomb`s law relates electric charges to the electrical forces that cause them). But other laws (such as the law of conservation of energy or the principles of space-time symmetry) do not specify the effects of a particular type of cause. Some laws include probabilities (such as the law that determines the half-life of a radioactive isotope). And some laws are currently not being discovered – although I can`t give you an example! (By “laws of nature,” I mean the true laws of nature that science wants to discover, not what scientists currently believe to be the laws of nature.) The formula “natural law” first appears as “a living metaphor” favored by the Latin poets Lucretius, Virgil, Ovid, Manilius and, over time, acquired a strong theoretical presence in the prose treatises of Seneca and Pliny. Why this Roman origin? According to the convincing account of [classical historian and philologist] Daryn] Lehoux, the idea was made possible by the central role of codified law and forensic reasoning in Roman life and culture. For the Romans. The place par excellence where ethics, law, nature, religion and politics intersect is the court of justice.
If we read Seneca`s Natural Questions and observe again and again how he applies the standards of evidence, witness evaluation, reasoning and evidence, we can see that we are reading one of the great Roman rhetoricians of the time, who is completely immersed in the forensic method.