I present an argument for the view that laws ground their instances. I then outline two important consequences that follow if we accept the conclusion of this argument. First, the claim that laws ground their instances threatens to undermine a prominent recent attempt to make sense of the explanatory power of Humean laws by distinguishing between metaphysical and scientific explanation. And second, the claim that laws ground their instances gives rise to a novel argument against the view that grounding relations are metaphysically necessary.
KeywordsLaws Explanation Grounding
Thanks to Tom Donaldson, Matt Duncan, Mike Hicks, Tyler Hildebrand, David Kovacs, Marc Lange, Barry Loewer, Casey McCoy, Michaela McSweeney (and her Fall 2017 graduate seminar at Boston University), Daniel Nolan, Mike Raven, Jonathan Schaffer, Josh Schechter, Amy Seymour, Alex Skiles, Brad Skow, Alberto Tassoni, Kelly Trogdon, and Al Wilson for helpful discussion and to audiences at University of Colorado Boulder, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the Metaphysics on the Mountain II Conference, and the Ground in Philosophy of Science conference at the University of Geneva.
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