|Laws of Nature, philosophy: laws of nature (physical laws) are descriptions of dependencies of physical quantities among each other. From the fact that these are descriptions, it follows that these are no regulations in the sense of e.g. legal regulations. N. Goodman suggests in “Fact, Fiction and Forecast” (1954) that natural laws should be formulated in the form of irreal conditional sentences (also known as counterfactual conditionals); If A were the case, B would have been the case. See also counterfactual conditionals, irreal conditionals, laws, lawlikeness, law statements._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
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Laws of Nature/LoN/Natural Law/Science/Form/Identification/Armstrong: theoretical identification of water and H2O not a law of nature - two all-quantifications on molecules and water - each law of nature must have double-digit form of premise-conclusion - Ontology: what entities exist is inextricably linked with law of nature - but also distinguishable from it.
LoN/Armstrong: contingent - but not because they are discovered - the distinction a priori/a posteriori an epistemic one.
LoN/Armstrong: not true statements of law, but truth-makers - VsHume: strong LoN: contain regularities, but cannot be reduced to them (because dispositions do not always show) - LoN: can be identified with relations between universals (properties) - Camp: realistic view - E.g. possession of a property leads to possession of another property - LoN/Armstrong: contingent! - But the regularity seems to be contained analytically.
LoN/Armstrong: Relation between categorical properties (not dispositional ones) - PlaceVs: smuggles modality in (because the relations then have to be intentional or modal).
LoN/Armstrong: no causal factors - exists only when instantiated - logical consequence (that three values of volume, pressure, temperature always are connected) is not because of the law! (Boyle's law is no law of nature)._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
AR II = Disp
D. M. Armstrong
Dispositions, Tim Crane, London New York 1996
What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge 1983