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Demarest, Heather, , . Fundamental Properties and the Laws of Nature
2015, Philosophy Compass 10(5) 224-344.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Abstract: Fundamental properties and the laws of nature go hand in hand: mass and gravitation, charge and electromagnetism, spin and quantum mechanics. So, it is unsurprising that one’s account of fundamental properties affects one’s view of the laws of nature and vice versa. In this essay,the author surveys a variety of recent attempts to provide a joint account of the fundamental properties and the laws of nature. Many of these accounts are new and unexplored. Some of them posit surprising entities, such as counterfacts. Other accounts posit surprising laws of nature, such as instantaneous laws that constrain the initial configuration of particles. These exciting developments challenge our assumptions about our basic ontology and provide fertile ground for further exploration.

Comment: The article introduces in a simple way some fundamental concepts such as ‘law of nature’, ‘properties’, the notion of ‘categorical’ and ‘dispositional’ or the distinction between the governing and the systems approaches. It could serve as an introduction for those undergraduates that have never heard of these concepts before, or as a further reading for those in need of clarification. Some examples of modern fundamental physics are used as examples.

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Overall, Christine, , . Miracles as Evidence Against the Existence of God
1985, The Southern Journal of Philosophy 23(3): 3447-353.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by: Helen De Cruz

Abstract: An assumption in debates about the philosophical significance of miracles is that if a miracle (a violation of natural law or a permanently inexplicable event) were to occur, it would be evidence for the existence of the Christian God. The paper explores reservations by several philosophers about this connection between God and miracles, and presents arguments to show that if a miracle would occur there would be good reason to deny that God exists.

Comment: Great text that would spark a lot of debate. Could be a core reading for a unit on miracles or on agnosticism/atheism. If the latter, this would be particularly useful if miracles had already been discussed. Could be discussed alongside Hume on Miracles.

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