Publication details for Professor Nancy CartwrightCartwright, N. (1997). Models: The Blueprints for Laws. Philosophy of Science 64: S292-S303.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0031-8248
- DOI: 10.1086/392608
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
In this paper the claim that laws of nature are to be understood as claims about what necessarily or reliably happens is disputed. Laws can characterize what happens in a reliable way, but they do not do this easily. We do not have laws for everything occurring in the world, but only for those situations where what happens in nature is represented by a model: models are blueprints for nomological machines, which in turn give rise to laws. An example from economics shows, in particular, how we use--and how we need to use--models to get probabilistic laws.
Published by University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Philosophy of Science Association