Case Study about Natural Laws and Social Conventions Exceptions
Introduction: The topic of exceptions and violations has received some attention in relation to both social conventions and natural laws. In this paper I will investigate comparatively the two cases, in order to see (i) if they can shed some light one on the other and (ii) if through the lenses of exceptions we can learn something more about the two concepts at issue. Regularities, roughly understood as constant (or frequent) conjunctions of properties or events, are ubiquitous both in nature and in society.
Where do these regularities come from? Some seem due to mere happenstance: accidental regularities (‘All gold cubes are smaller than one cubic mile’) and statistically frequent actions, i.e. mere convergent habits of behaviour (‘going to the cinema on Saturday nights’). Others have a ‘modal character’ in that, at least prima facie, they seem to govern or guide the events in the world: philosophers talk of law-like regularities that couldn’t fail to obtain, viz. laws and of rule-like regularities that guid our actions, viz. norms or conventions.
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