Fried Eggs, Thermodynamics, and the Special Sciences

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    • Pages : 71 à 98
    • Support : Electronic document
    • Langues : Anglais
    • Édition : Original
    • DOI : 10.1093/bjps/axq012
    • Date de création : 18-05-2011
    • Dernière mise à jour : 18-05-2011



    David Lewis ([1986b]) gives an attractive and familiar account of counterfactual dependence in the standard context. This account has recently been subject to a counterexample from Adam Elga ([2000]). In this article, I formulate a Lewisian response to Elga’s counterexample. The strategy is to add an extra criterion to Lewis’s similarity metric, which determines the comparative similarity of worlds. This extra criterion instructs us to take special science laws into consideration as well as fundamental laws. I argue that the Second Law of Thermodynamics should be seen as a special science law, and give a brief account of what Lewisian special science laws should look like. If successful, this proposal blocks Elga’s counterexample.