Challenging Lewis's challenge to the best system account of lawhood

Rafał Urbaniak , Bert Leuridan


David Lewis has formulated a well-known challenge to his Best System account of lawhood: the content of any system whatever can be formulated very simply if one allows for perverse choices of primitive vocabulary. We show that the challenge is not that dangerous, and that to account for it one need not invoke natural properties (Lewis in Aust J Phil 61: 343–377, 1983) or relativized versions of the Best System account (Cohen and Callender in Phil Stud 145: 1–34, 2009). This way, we help to move towards an even better Best System account. We discuss extensions of our strategy to the discussions about the indexicality of the notion of laws of nature (Roberts in Phil Sci 66: S502–S511, 1999), and to another trivialization argument (Unterhuber in Erkenntnis 79: 1833–1847, 2014).
Author Rafał Urbaniak (FSS / IPSJ / DLPSE)
Rafał Urbaniak,,
- Division of Logic, Philosophy of Science and Epistemology
, Bert Leuridan
Bert Leuridan,,
Journal seriesSynthese. An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0039-7857, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.85
Keywords in Englishlaws of nature, natural kinds, Lewis, possible worlds, best system account of lawhood, indexicality of laws of nature, Mill-Ramsey-Lewis account of lawhood
ASJC Classification3300 General Social Sciences; 1211 Philosophy
Languageen angielski
LicenseOther; published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)35
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, 28-03-2019, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 35.0, 28-03-2019, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.149; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 1.034 (2) - 2017=1.013 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.