more from Stephen Mumford

Single Idea 14342

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations]

Full Idea

Laws, qua true generalities, if they exist at all, are ontologically parasitic upon the capacities of particulars, rather than the other way round.

Gist of Idea

General laws depend upon the capacities of particulars, not the other way around


Stephen Mumford (Dispositions [1998], 10.6)

Book Reference

Mumford,Stephen: 'Dispositions' [OUP 1998], p.230

A Reaction

Quite so. And hence trying to explain a particular behaviour by saying that it falls under a law is absurdly circular and vacuous.