Humean Laws in an unHumean World

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I argue that an unHumean ontology of irreducibly dispositional properties might be fruitfully combined with what has typically been thought of as a Humean account of laws, namely, the best-system account, made popular by David Lewis (e.g., 1983, 1986, 1994). In this paper I provide the details of what I argue is the most defensible account of Humean laws in an unHumean world. This package of views has the benefits of upholding scientific realism while doing without any suspect metaphysical entities to account for natural law. I conclude by arguing that the Humean laws-unHumean ontology package is well placed to provide an account of objective, nontrivial chances, a famous stumbling block for the Humean laws-Humean ontology package developed by Lewis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-147
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Chance
  • Dispositions
  • Laws of Nature
  • Modality
  • Ontology


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