Rethinking the central concepts from philosophy of science for laws in the special sciences and formulating the resulting theory in a logically precise way

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2004 - 2008 (afgewerkt)



The traditional criteria for lawlikeness are rarely met in the special sciences (biology, economy, social sciences, etc.). These sciences seem almost never to discover universal, exceptionless regularities. Nevertheless, they are capable of explanation, prediction and manipulation of the world, acts for which laws of nature are traditionally thought to be indispensable. The aim of this project is to develop new conceptual tools to understand laws in the special sciences and to tackle such problems as their demarcation from accidental regularities, their truth-conditions, their confirmation and falsification, etc. The resulting theory will provide a basis for developing (adaptive) logics that enable us to reason about laws of nature in a formally precise way. Finally, the conceptual tools and the logics will be applied to some well-known cases from several (special) sciences.