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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 71, Issue 1, July 2005

John Earman, John T. Roberts
Pages 1-22

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A Challenge for Deniers of Humean Supervenience about Laws of Nature Part I: Humean Supervenience

This is the first part of a two-part article in which we defend the thesis of Humean Supervenience about Laws of Nature (HS). According to this thesis, two possible worlds cannot differ on what is a law of nature unless they also differ on the Humean base. The Humean base is easy to characterize intuitively, but there is no consensus on how, precisely, it should be defined. Here in Part I, we present and motivate a characterization of the Humean base that, we argue, enables HS to capture what is really stake in the debate, without taking on extraneous commitments.

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