Attitude Theories of Law

A law is a general statement which we take to have special properties. Either it is supported by examination of its instances, or it supports counterfactuals, or both. The statement has these properties because we think it does, and the status of a statement can change if we change our opinions.


Goodman 1954 provides a strong version of this account.


The main problem is that, on this account, it is up to us whether F=ma is a law of nature or not. Many people think that this is false, and even if it is true in some sense, it doesn't seem to be as simple as this account makes it.
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Copyright David Chart 1998