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How the Laws of Physics Lie - Nancy Cartwright

How the Laws of Physics Lie

Paperback

Published: 9th June 1983
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In this sequence of philosophical essays about natural science, Nancy Cartwright argues that fundamental explanatory laws, the deepest and most admired successes of modern physics, do not in fact describe the regularities that exist in nature. Yet she is not `anti-realist'. Rather, she draws a novel distinction, arguing that theoretical entities, and the complex and localized laws that describe them, can be interpreted realistically, but that the simple unifying laws of basic theory cannot.

`The issues raised are very important and highly controversial ... I believe the book to be of importance in inviting philosophers to take a new look at the way physics is actually done, and what their reaction to that practice might be.' M. L. G. Redhead, Philosophical Quarterly `A significant addition to the literature. The central thesis is novel, the argumentation lively and forceful, the book is rich in material drawn from the actual explanatory practices of scientists.' W. H. Newton-Smith, Times Literary Supplement `The author introduces fresh ideas about every topic she discusses. Any philosopher will learn from this book, and will enjoy it as well.' Geoffrey Joseph, Philosophical Review

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Causal Laws and Effective Strategiesp. 21
The Truth Doesn't Explain Muchp. 44
Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?p. 54
The Reality of Causes In a World of Instrumental Lawsp. 74
When Explanation Leads to Inferencep. 87
For Phenomenological Lawsp. 100
Fitting Facts to Equationsp. 128
The Simulacrum Account of Explanationp. 143
How the Measurement Problem Is an Artefact of the Mathematicsp. 163
Appendix; an Experiment to Test Reduction of the Wave Packetp. 206
Author Indexp. 217
Subject Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198247043
ISBN-10: 0198247044
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 9th June 1983
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.0 x 15.8  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.31