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Backmann, Marius; Reutlinger, Alexander (June 2014): Better Best Systems - Too Good To Be True. In: Dialectica
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Craig Callender, Jonathan Cohen and Markus Schrenk have recently argued for an amended version of the best system account of laws - the better best system account (BBSA). This account of lawhood is supposed to account for laws in the special sciences, among other desiderata. Unlike David Lewis's original best system account of laws, the BBSA does not rely on a privileged class of natural predicates, in terms of which the best system is formulated. According to the BBSA, a contingently true generalization is a law of a special science S iff the generalization is an axiom (or a theorem) of the best system relative to the set of predicates used by special science S. We argue that the BBSA is, at best, an incomplete theory of special science laws, as it does not account for typical features of special science laws, such as attached ceteris paribus conditions and the idealized character of law statements in these disciplines.