By John Earman, Clark Glymour, Sandra Mitchell
Natural and social sciences look quite often, notwithstanding frequently basically implicitly, to hedge their legislation by way of ceteris paribus clauses - a convention that is philosophically very not easy to appreciate simply because such clauses appear to render the legislation trivial and unfalsifiable. After early concerns the problem is vigorously mentioned within the philosophy of technological know-how and the philosophy of brain considering the fact that ca. 15 years.
This quantity collects the main fashionable philosophers of technological know-how within the box and offers a full of life, debatable, yet well-integrated, hugely unique and updated dialogue of the problem. it is going to be the reference booklet within the coming years bearing on ceteris paribus laws.
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Laws' look to be strictly tautologous- true, but presumably not explanatory laws in an empirical science. (p. 87) With a few exceptions the advocates of ceteris paribus laws have pursued the same generic strategy for resolving this difficulty. , laws of form (U) that explicitly state nomically sufficient conditions for the outcomes described in their consequents) are unproblematically legitimate. It is further assumed that ceteris paribus laws will be legitimate to the extent that they can be regarded as stand-ins for underlying strict laws or to the extent  NO SUCH THING 309 that the ceteris paribus clauses in them can be "discharged" in a way that connects them in some appropriate way to such underlying laws.
The question we are then faced with is whether we can specify a K such that (E*) "All As in K are Rs" is a law and the conditions (ii)-(iii) forKs being a completer are satisfied. It is hard to see that the truth of (E) guarantees that this is possible. For example, one way of turning (E) into an exceptionless generalization of form (E*) would be to add to its antecedent some condition K* that is equivalent to the disjunction of those A; CJ that are always followed by R. However, K* by itself is sufficient for R in violation of (iii).
Other generalizations that are taken by philosophers to have an implicit ceteris paribus clause attached to them are most naturally understood, not as claims about the overall or net effect that will occur when other conditions are present, but rather as generalizations about some component or feature of the effect that is attributable to the operation of specified set of causal factors, when these are taken by themselves or are conceived as operating in isolation. For example, the gravitational inverse square law (which on my view should be understood as describing the gravitational component of the total force experienced by a mass) is sometimes claimed to be implicitly qualified by a ceteris paribus clause (referring to the absence of non-gravitational forces) since (it is argued) it is incorrect when non-gravitational forces are present (Cartwright, 1983; Hausman, 1992).
Ceterus Paribus Laws by John Earman, Clark Glymour, Sandra Mitchell