more from Alan Sidelle

Single Idea 15178

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism]

Full Idea

Is there anything in the procedures of scientists that could reveal to them that water is necessarily H2O or that gold necessarily has atomic number 79.

Gist of Idea

Can anything in science reveal the necessity of what it discovers?


Alan Sidelle (Necessity, Essence and Individuation [1989], Ch.4)

Book Reference

Sidelle,Alan: 'Necessity, Essence and Individuation' [Cornell 1989], p.95

A Reaction

This is Leibniz's is view, that empirical evidence can never reveal necessities. Given that we know some necessities, you have an argument for rationalism.