NC State Professor of Philosophy John W. Carroll will give a research presentation entitled “Becoming Humean” as part of the Philosophy Colloquium Series. All are welcome.
Abstract: There is a story about laws of nature that needs telling. It includes a novel semantics for modal sentences that is based on mainstream ideas from linguistics, tweaked to eliminate the use of possible worlds. Using the semantics with an analysis of laws as regularities true because of nature yields a Humean concept of lawhood that is rich in many anti-Humean ways: not every true generalization is a law of nature and laws of nature govern. It can even turn out true to say about a Humean base, “There are laws.” It can also turn out true to say about the very same Humean base, “There are no laws.” That is some significant anti-Humean desiderata met. Nevertheless, should this story be true the core of anti-Humeanism would be based on a conflation.