Single Idea 16166

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 2. Types of Laws]

Full Idea

Philosophers distinguish phenomenological from theoretical laws. Phenomenological laws are about appearances; theoretical ones are about the reality behind the appearances.

Gist of Idea

Laws of appearances are 'phenomenological'; laws of reality are 'theoretical'


Nancy Cartwright (How the Laws of Physics Lie [1983], Intro)

Book Reference

Cartwright,Nancy: 'How the Laws of Physics Lie' [OUP 2002], p.1

A Reaction

I'm suspecting that Humeans only really believe in the phenomenological kind. I'm only interested in the theoretical kind, and I take inference to the best explanation to be the bridge between the two. Cartwright rejects the theoretical laws.