Cartwright on Wholism
DOI link for Cartwright on Wholism
Cartwright on Wholism book
Nancy Cartwright is famous for rejecting fundamentalism in the sense of the view that the laws of nature reduce in principle to the laws of one fundamental physical theory or supervene on a set of fundamental laws. Instead, there is a patchwork of laws, that is, several groups of laws that are not related to each other in a systematic or uniform way (Cartwright 1999). By a law of nature, Cartwright means a necessary regular association between properties (Cartwright 1999: 4, 49). Consequently, she claims that our description of nature cannot even in principle be reduced to one fundamental theory. There is an irreducible plurality of different theories, each of which has its own limited area of application. There is no systematic relation between these theories.