52nd out of 60 books — 17 voters
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How the Laws of Physics Lie
In this sequence of philosophical essays about natural science, Nancy Cartwright argues that fundamental explanatory laws, the deepest and most admired successes of modern physics, do not in fact describe the regularities that exist in nature. Yet she is not anti-realist'. Rather, she draws a novel distinction, arguing that theoretical entities, and the complex and localiz ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published June 9th 1983 by OUP Oxford
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May 28, 2016 Alex Lee rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. Although Cartwright touches on the topic of scientific laws (theories) and the limit of their applicability she approaches this not with Karl Popper in mind but J.S. Mill. So her statements have an applicability beyond science that touches on logic, mathematics and reasoning itself. She presents a weaker view challenging the undecidability of quantum mechanics as a mathematical artifect (something David Bohm and somewhat like Karen Barad as well) but her basic questionin ...more
Philosopher of Science Cartwright argues some very interesting points in this series of essays. Cartwright does not swallow the idea of general laws that apply to everything and are true in most cases. She sees the universe as a little less ordered than that and, in fact, insists that when put to the test many of the so-called laws of Physics cannot be proven true. Most laws are simply false, she says. She doesn't find a huge problem in this, though, as a law's ability to explain why something h ...more