Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Regularity, philosophy: regularity. The expression is usually used in connection with considerations of causality. The question is whether the determination of regularities is sufficient for the formulation of laws of nature. Opponents of the regularity theory demand that, in addition to the observation of positive cases, a formal determination is made on cases that have not yet occurred. For this purpose, e.g. a counterfactual conditional is established. E.g. if A were the case, then B would be the case, assuming that case A did not (yet) occur. See also causation, law of nature, laws, counterfactual conditional, unreal conditional clauses, cause, effect, induction.

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.

Author Item Summary Meta data
II 42 ff
ArmstrongVsHume/ArmstrongVsRegularity: 1) impossible to distinguish regularity from coincidence because of laws of nature (LoN): E.g. every ball of uranium is smaller than 1 km, so is every ball of gold, but the latter by coincidence - 2) Laws of nature support counterfactual conditionals - regularities do not - 3) Regularity theory turns induction into an irrational procedure - 4) Probability: Problem: every connection of F"s and G"s can exist due to a merely probable law: although the distribution is manifestation of the law of nature, it is not identical with it - Solution: LoN: connection of types of states - Solution: ad 1: properties instead of regularities: properties of the gold/Uranium - ad 2: universals make number of instantiations irrelevant (unequal regularity) - ad 3: universals turn induction into abduction (conclusion to the best explanation) - ad 4: Relations between properties (universals) can occur in different strength, then deterministic laws of nature - borderline case.
II 45
Regularity/Tooley: molecular fact: conjunction: This F is a G and this...and...- contrast: law of nature as a link between properties (universals): atomic fact: number of instances irrelevant >Armstrong: solution for non-actual situation as truth maker of counterfactual conditionals.

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

D. Armstrong
What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge 1983

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-06-22