The Software of the Universe: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Laws of Nature, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Software of the Universe

An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Laws of Nature, 1st Edition

By Mauro Dorato


174 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780754639947
pub: 2005-07-28
SAVE ~$33.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Software of the Universe introduces the history and philosophy of the concept of 'laws of nature' addressing both philosophers and scientists with an interest in the methodological and philosophical issues raised by their disciplines. The book reconstructs the main stages of the historical development of the idea of laws of nature and claims that an explanation of the mysterious effectiveness of mathematics in the description of the empirical world is also a key to understanding the nature of laws and their function in our knowledge. The role played by laws in scientific theories and practice is analysed and related to the idea of structural realism, while the centrality of the notion of dispositional properties, regarded as the truth-makers of scientific laws, is also defended in the context of the softer sciences such as psychology and sociology. Dorato shows that since all physical laws are valid ceteris paribus, the concept of law has universal applicability in all the empirical sciences. This book is a clear and well-written guide to the philosophy of laws of nature and offers a critical survey of the main positions debated in the current literature on the nature of 'laws of nature'.


'In sum, the book touches many interesting topics, some of which have seldom been covered by other works on laws. In this respect, Dorato certainly fills a gap in the discussion and I recommend the book to everyone working on laws who wishes to inquire into these issues”the history of the concept and the mathematical structure of laws”and look for a thought provoking starting point.' British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The origin of the idea of 'law of nature'; Why are laws of nature mathematical?; The reducibility of the laws of nature; What is a law of nature? Laws and the special sciences; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Dr Mauro Dorato is Associate Professor for the Philosophy of Science, Department of Philosophy, University of Rome 3, Italy.

About the Series

Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy

Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy
The Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy series brings high quality research monograph publishing into focus for authors, the international library market, and student, academic and research readers. Headed by an international editorial advisory board of acclaimed scholars from across the philosophical spectrum, this monograph series presents cutting-edge research from established as well as exciting new authors in the field. Spanning the breadth of philosophy and related disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy takes contemporary philosophical research into new directions and debate.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: