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Ideas of Nancy Cartwright, by Text

[American, b.1943, Professor at the London School of Economics.]

1983 How the Laws of Physics Lie
p.139 There are fundamental explanatory laws (false!), and phenomenological laws (regularities) [Bird]
Intro p.1 Laws of appearances are 'phenomenological'; laws of reality are 'theoretical'
Intro p.3 Laws get the facts wrong, and explanation rests on improvements and qualifications of laws
Intro p.12 Laws apply to separate domains, but real explanations apply to intersecting domains
Intro p.15 To get from facts to equations, we need a prepared descriptions suited to mathematics
Intro p.17 The covering law view assumes that each phenomenon has a 'right' explanation
1.1 p.23 A cause won't increase the effect frequency if other causes keep interfering
2.0 p.45 Covering-law explanation lets us explain storms by falling barometers
2.2 p.49 I disagree with the covering-law view that there is a law to cover every single case
2.3 p.51 There are few laws for when one theory meets another
2.5 p.53 Good organisation may not be true, and the truth may not organise very much
3.5 p.70 You can't explain one quail's behaviour by just saying that all quails do it
3.6 p.72 Simple laws have quite different outcomes when they act in combinations
4.1 p.75 Two main types of explanation are by causes, or by citing a theoretical framework
5.3 p.97 In science, best explanations have regularly turned out to be false
8.3 p.152 An explanation is a model that fits a theory and predicts the phenomenological laws
9.3 p.202 Causality indicates which properties are real
1999 The Dappled World
p.393 Theories can never represent accurately, because their components are abstract [Portides]