Philosophical Studies

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 255–261

Grounding, scientific explanation, and Humean laws


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-012-0001-x

Cite this article as:
Lange, M. Philos Stud (2013) 164: 255. doi:10.1007/s11098-012-0001-x


It has often been argued that Humean accounts of natural law cannot account for the role played by laws in scientific explanations. Loewer (Philosophical Studies 2012) has offered a new reply to this argument on behalf of Humean accounts—a reply that distinguishes between grounding (which Loewer portrays as underwriting a kind of metaphysical explanation) and scientific explanation. I will argue that Loewer’s reply fails because it cannot accommodate the relation between metaphysical and scientific explanation. This relation also resolves a puzzle about scientific explanation that Hempel and Oppenheim (Philosophy of Science 15:135–75, 1948) encountered.


Scientific explanationLaws of natureHumeLewisGroundingHempel

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA