more from Rom Harr

Single Idea 15881

[catalogued under 14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 5. Anomalies]

Full Idea

When we come upon a counter-instance to a generalisation we can save the putative law, by treating it as potentially analytic and claiming it as a definition. ...Thus magnetism doesn't hold for phosphorus, so we say phosphorus is not a magnetic substance.

Gist of Idea

We can save laws from counter-instances by treating the latter as analytic definitions


Rom Harr (Laws of Nature [1993], 3)

Book Reference

Harr,Rom: 'Laws of Nature' [Duckworth 1993], p.75

A Reaction

He notes this as being particularly true when the laws concern the dispositions of substances, rather than patterns of events.