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Laws and Symmetry - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Laws and Symmetry

Bas C. van Fraassen


Metaphysicians speak of laws of nature in terms of necessity and universality, and that conception played a role in the birth of modern physics some centuries ago, but today physicists speak in terms of symmetry, transformations, and invariance. Laws and Symmetry's three main objectives are: first, to show the failure of current philosophical accounts of laws of nature; second, to refute arguments for the reality of laws of nature; third, to contrib ute to an epistemology and a philosophy of science antithetical to such metaphysical notions. The latter involves an inquiry into the character an ... More

Keywords: epistemology, invariance, laws of nature, necessity, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, symmetry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1989 Print ISBN-13: 9780198248606
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198248601.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bas C. van Fraassen, author
Princeton University
Author Webpage