Mumford outlines a major new theory of natural laws. His book begins with the question of whether there are any genuinely law-like phenomena in nature. The discussion addresses questions currently being debated by metaphysicians such as whether the laws of nature are necessary or contingent and whether a property can be identified independently of its causal role.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Laws in Science and Philosophy Part One: Humean Lawlessness 2. The Lawless World 3. Regularities and Best Systems 4. Hume's Argument Part Two: Nomological Realism 5. The Nomological Argument 6. Natural Necessitation Relations 7. Necessitarian Essentialism Part Three: Realist Lawlessness 8. Are Natural Laws a Natural Kind 9. The Central Dilemma 10. Modal Properties 11. Objections and Replies 12. Conclusion: Law and Metaphor
Stephen Mumford is Reader in Metaphysics in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Dispositions (1998) and various papers in metaphysics. He is editor of Russell on Metaphysics (2003) and Powers by the late George Molnar (2003).