Scientific Law Essay

975 Words4 Pages
While there is a longstanding debate over what constitutes a “scientific law,” most scientists agree that a scientific law reflects an objective feature of the world, reflects a basic law of the universe and reflects an exceptionless regularity. In this essay, I will outline these three basic features of a scientific law, as well as discuss the use of counterfactuals, and examine how they may or may not undermine objective features of the world. Finally, I will attempt to dissolve the above issue by proving that counterfactuals can, in fact, be objective. To begin with, a scientific law must reflect an objective feature of the world. In other words, a scientific law can’t reflect something that is affected or put into existence by humans.…show more content…
In other words, it must reflect the way that an aspect of the natural universe works. For example, the fact that falling objects fall towards the ground at 9.8 m/s^2 is a law of nature. The scientific law that would reflect this is the statement “free falling objects fall at 9.8 m/s^2.” In other words, the statement “falling objects fall towards the ground at 9.8 m/s^2” is true if and only if falling objects actually fall towards the ground at 9.8 m/s^2. Another important distinction to make is that a law of nature cannot be centered on one object. For example, the fact that I exist is not a law of nature. This follows from the fact that all candidates for scientific laws must be objective features of the…show more content…
One of these issues is that counterfactuals are highly context dependent, which may make them subjective. Take the example,“if my friend does not take my pencil, then I will use my green mechanical pencil for every final exam.” Some may argue that this statement is subjective because whether or not I end up using the pencil depends on my friend’s actions (which makes the statement context dependent). Because this statement is context dependent, it likely (in this case it does) relies on human activities, or interruptions, which means the statement is no longer an objective feature of the
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