PhilSci Archive

Laws of Nature: Necessary and Contingent

Kimpton-Nye, Samuel (2022) Laws of Nature: Necessary and Contingent. The Philosophical Quarterly, 72 (4). pp. 875-895.


Download (210kB) | Preview


This paper shows how a niche account of the metaphysics of laws of nature and physical properties—the Powers-BSA—can underpin both a sense in which the laws are metaphysically necessary and a sense in which it is true that the laws could have been different. The ability to reconcile entrenched disagreement should count in favour of a philosophical theory, so this paper constitutes a novel argument for the Powers-BSA by showing how it can reconcile disagreement about the laws’ modal status. This paper also constitutes a defence of modal necessitarianism, the interesting and controversial view according to which all worlds are nomologically identical, because it shows how the modal necessitarian can appease the orthodox contingentist about laws.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Keywords: Contingency; Laws of Nature: Modality; Necessity; Pragmatism; Real Patterns
Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Dr Samuel Kimpton-Nye
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2022 14:22
Item ID: 21501
Journal or Publication Title: The Philosophical Quarterly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: October 2022
Page Range: pp. 875-895
Volume: 72
Number: 4

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item