The Epistemological Argument Against Lewis's Regularity View of Laws

Philosophical Studies


I argue for the claim that if Lewis’s regularity theory of laws were true, we could not know any positive law statement to be true. Premise 1: According to that theory, for any law statement true of the actual world, there is always a nearby world where the law statement is false (a world that differs with respect to one matter of particular fact). Premise 2: One cannot know a proposition to be true if it is false in a nearby world (the epistemological safety principle). The conclusion that no law statement can be known to be true follows immediately from the two premises.