Single Idea 16169

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations]

Full Idea

When different kinds of causes compose, we want to explain what happens in the intersection of different domains. But the laws we use are designed only to tell truly what happens in each domain separately.

Gist of Idea

Laws apply to separate domains, but real explanations apply to intersecting domains


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

Book Reference

Cartwright,Nancy: 'How the Laws of Physics Lie' [OUP 2002], p.12

A Reaction

Since presumably the laws are discovered through experiments which try to separate out a single domain, in those circumstances they actually are true, so they don't 'lie'.