Single Idea 19038

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity]

Full Idea

Even on the dispositional essentialist view the world might have been governed by different laws, if those laws involved different properties. What is excluded is the possibility of different laws involving the same properties as our actual laws.

Gist of Idea

Dispositional essentialism allows laws to be different, but only if the supporting properties differ


Barbara Vetter (Potentiality [2015], 7.8)

Book Reference

Vetter,Barbara: 'Potentiality: from Dispositions to Modality' [OUP 2015], p.282

A Reaction

Important. Critics of dispositional essentialism accuse it of promoting the idea that the laws of nature are necessary, a claim for which we obviously have no evidence. I prefer to say they are necessary given that 'stuff', rather than those properties.