Within metaphysics, there are two competing theories of Laws of Nature. On one account, the Regularity Theory, Laws of Nature are statements of the uniformities or regularities in the world; they are mere descriptions of the way the world is. On the other account, the Necessitarian Theory, Laws of Nature are the “principles” which govern the natural phenomena of the world. That is, the natural world “obeys” the Laws of Nature. This seemingly innocuous difference marks one of the most profound gulfs within contemporary philosophy, and has quite unexpected, and wide-ranging, implications.
Some of these implications involve accidental truths, false existentials, the correspondence theory of truth, and the concept of free will. Perhaps the most important implication of each theory is whether the universe is a cosmic coincidence or driven by specific, eternal laws of nature. Each side takes a different stance on each of these issues, and to adopt either theory is to give up one or more strong beliefs about the nature of the world. (Continue)