@article{a0f92a6577c34b68b597aa674cc0fa22,

title = "A framework for an inferential conception of physical laws",

abstract = "We advance a framework for an inferential conception of physical laws, addressing the problem of the application of mathematical structures to the relevant structure of physical domains. Physical laws, we argue, express generalizations that work as rules for deriving physically informative inferences about their target systems, hence guiding us in our interaction with various domains. Our analysis of the application of mathematics to the articulation of physical laws follows a threefold scheme. First, we examine the immersion of the relevant structure of physical domains into mathematical structures. Second, we assess the inferential power of laws resulting from the mathematical formalism employed in the immersion step. And third, we provide a suitable physical interpretation for the extant mathematical structures obtained from the inferential step. We demonstrate that a deflationary, empiricist framework for an inferential conception of physical laws delivers both an understanding of the mathematical character of physical laws, and a way of responding to some of the standard philosophical riddles associated with laws.",

keywords = "Applied mathematics, Empirical generalizations, Mapping account, Mathematical structures, Physical laws, Physical structures",

author = "Cristian Soto and Ot{\'a}vio Bueno",

note = "Funding Information: We are grateful to Bruno Borge (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Renato Cesar Cani (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil) for bringing this volume together and for their continuing support. We thank audiences at the British Society for the Philosophy of Science Conference (University of Oxford, July 2018), the Workshop on foundations of Science (SADAF, Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 2018), the XI International Principia Symposium (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, August 2019), and the 20th Jornadas Rolando Chuaqui Filosof{\'i}a y Ciencias (PUC de Chile, August 2019) for their stimulating feedback on earlier versions of this work. We acknowledge and thank financial support by CONICYT, Chile, through the FONDECYT 11160324 research grant. Funding Information: We are grateful to Bruno Borge (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Renato Cesar Cani (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil) for bringing this volume together and for their continuing support. We thank audiences at the British Society for the Philosophy of Science Conference (University of Oxford, July 2018), the Workshop on foundations of Science (SADAF, Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 2018), the XI International Principia Symposium (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, August 2019), and the 20th Jornadas Rolando Chuaqui Filosof?a y Ciencias (PUC de Chile, August 2019) for their stimulating feedback on earlier versions of this work. We acknowledge and thank financial support by CONICYT, Chile, through the FONDECYT 11160324 research grant.",

year = "2019",

month = dec,

doi = "10.5007/1808-1711.2019V23N3P423",

language = "English (US)",

volume = "23",

pages = "423--444",

journal = "Principia",

issn = "1414-4247",

publisher = "Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina",

number = "3",

}