Humean laws and explanation

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which Humeans should regard as laws. I will then conclude by rebutting a variant of this objection that appeals to a principle of metaphysical explanation recently put forward by Kit Fine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3145-3165
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number12
Early online date21 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • David Lewis
  • Explanation
  • Grounding
  • Humeanism
  • Kit Fine
  • Laws


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