more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 5474

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature]

Full Idea

Most of the propositions we think of as being (or as expressing) genuine laws of nature seem to describe only the behaviour of ideal kinds of things, or of things in ideal circumstances.

Gist of Idea

Laws of nature tend to describe ideal things, or ideal circumstances


Brian Ellis (The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism [2002], Ch.5)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism' [Acumen 2002], p.91

A Reaction

Ellis this suggests that this phenomenon is because science aims at broad understanding instead of strict prediction. Do we simplify because we are a bit dim? Or is it because generalisation wouldn't exist without idealisation and abstraction?