Realist Accounts of Law

A realist account is one which holds that the law exists in the world, independent of any thinking being, and over and above any regularity it may give rise to.

The main realist theory at the moment is the claim that laws are universals. Thus, there is a universal "All As are B", and since every A instantiates this universal, every thing that instantiates A also instantiates B.


The main source is Armstrong 1983, but this is a book, and is not easy going.


The main problem with this account is that universals are at least as obscure, and rather more controversial, than laws of nature. Thus, even if the account works, it isn't clear that we gain anything.
Home Page HPS Index Page

Copyright David Chart 1998