The catchy title of Mauro Dorato’s The Software of the Universe (subtitled Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Laws of Nature) promises a new, accessible look at a subject that is central within analytic metaphysics of science and in the many strong parts of the book the reader will not be disappointed.

Two of the topics covered are most welcome because they are not often discussed in the literature on laws: Dorato’s first chapter is a historical overview of how the concept of laws of nature was used (or absent from some discourse) from the Hellenistic period through the medieval ages down to the modern scientific era starting with Newton; the second chapter introduces (and partially aims to answer) the...

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