Topic: law of nature

topics > science > Group: philosophy of science


empirical truth
history of science
models of reality
Newtonian physics
reality is a machine
science as experiment
science as mathematics
science as measurement
scientific paradigms and research programs
skepticism about knowledge
what is truth


It is remarkable that nature has laws. In the early 1600s, Galileo discovered the law of gravity. Since then we have gained a detailed understanding of electricity, magnetism, light, and chemistry. Mathematical models agree with experiment. (cbb 4/06)
Subtopic: nature as law abiding up

Quote: the theory of gravitation had an immense effect on science; here was a simple rule that governed the motion of the planets [»feynRP_1963]
Quote: the more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left for causes of a different nature
Quote: at any given moment, out of all conceivable constructions, a single system of theoretical physics has always proved itself decidedly superior; a pre-established harmony [»einsA_1934]
Quote: every generalization supposes a belief in the unity and simplicity of Nature [»poinH_1902, OK]
Quote: Nature is inexorable, immutable, and cares nothing of man; it is bound by law
Quote: everywhere, at every time, things are just as they are here; explain the most remote and hidden things by analogy to what is visible and near to us [»leibGW5_1705]
Quote: universal rules--natural motion follows mechanical laws, independence of body and soul, body and souls are everywhere [»leibGW5_1705]
Quote: vital principles do not change the course of motion; motion is part of the pre-established order of nature [»leibGW5_1705]

Subtopic: law of nature up

Quote: the general laws of theoretical physics are valid for any natural phenomenon whatsoever, including life [»einsA_1934]
Quote: absolutely general validity is required for the laws of nature, the reciprocal connection of objects and events in time and space [»einsA_1941]
Quote: the correct laws of physics seem to be expressible in a tremendous variety of ways [»feynR_1965]
Quote: fundamental physics is like the rules of the game of nature; can thus understand the world even though its application may be much too complicated [»feynRP_1963]
Quote: the laws of nature are conditional statements to predict future events while ignoring almost all of the current state of the world; the laws are imprecise [»wignEP2_1960]
Quote: the task of the physicist is to find the universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built by pure deduction
Quote: the laws of acceleration are conventions but they are not arbitrary; the laws were justified by experiment [»poinH_1902, OK]

Subtopic: right of nature up

Quote: it is a right of nature, that every may preserve his own life and limbs, with all the power he hath [»hobbT_1650a, OK]
Quote: it is a law for nature that messengers of peace may safely come and go; for seeing peace is a general law of nature [»hobbT_1650a, OK]

Subtopic: discovering laws of nature up

Quote: the glory of science is to find a way of thinking that makes evident a law relating measurements [»feynRP_1963]
Quote: development of physical law: observe effect, measure it, make a table, find the rule [»feynRP_1963]

Subtopic: examples up

Quote: the acceleration of straight motion in heavy bodies proceeds according to the odd numbers beginning from one; i.e., the spaces passed over are to each other as the squares of the times [»galiG_1632]
Quote: Newton's first law--a body continues in uniform motion; forces can change its state [»newtI_1685, OK]
Quote: quantum electrodynamics describes all physical phenomena except gravity, radioactivity and nuclear physics; there is no significant difference between experiment and theory [»feynRP_1985]
Quote: Ptolemy produce a table for the refraction of light in 140 A.D., Snell found the law of refraction in 1621
Quote: in mercury, gold sinks and other metals float; in air, gold and copper fall at nearly the same speed; so, in a vacuum, all materials descend with equal speed [»galiG_1638]

Subtopic: biological laws up

Quote: like the law of gravity, the Sarawak law explains a vast number of independent and previously unexplained facts; species come from pre-existing, closely allied species [»wallAR9_1855]
Quote: deduce the nature of biological history from isolated groups of facts about geological and biological events [»wallAR9_1855]

Subtopic: numeric constants up

Quote: hypothesis: the true, natural laws do not contain any arbitrary constants

Subtopic: not laws up

Quote: every individual has unique information about particular jobs, people, local conditions, and special circumstances

Related Topics up

Group: science   (45 topics, 1960 quotes)

Topic: empirical truth (47 items)
Topic: history of science (52 items)
Topic: models of reality (33 items)
Topic: Newtonian physics (79 items)
Topic: physics (51 items)
Topic: reality is a machine (48 items)
Topic: reductionism (51 items)
Topic: science as experiment (38 items)
Topic: science as mathematics (26 items)
Topic: science as measurement (36 items)
Topic: scientific paradigms and research programs (30 items)
Topic: skepticism about knowledge (34 items)
Topic: symmetry (11 items)
Topic: what is truth
(67 items)

Updated barberCB 4/06
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