Book

Laws and Symmetry

Bas C. van Fraassen

Published in print November 1989 | ISBN: 9780198248606
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597459 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198248601.001.0001

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Laws and Symmetry

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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 and role of symmetry and of symmetry arguments in the physical sciences.

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

Book.  410 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Laws and Symmetry

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What Are Laws of Nature? in Laws and Symmetry

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Towards a New Epistemology in Laws and Symmetry

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