Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Laws: A. Laws are rules created and enforced by governments to regulate behavior, protect people's rights, and promote order and justice in society. - B. Laws of nature are fundamental principles that describe how the universe works. They are universal and unchanging. - C. The status of laws in the individual sciences is controversial, since they may only describe regularities. See also Natural laws, Regularities, Principles.<
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 Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

David M. Armstrong on Laws - Dictionary of Arguments

I 117
Laws of Nature/LoN/sings/Armstrong: there is no sign for the law of gravity! Phenomena are only clues!
Sign/Ex Black Clouds: there must be a true inductive generalization, probability.
Designated thing: is like the sign always a particulate fact. There is no sign for the general! (i.e. neither is there for the validity of the laws of nature!
III 26f
Local Laws (below cosmic range): local laws force all theories to distinguish exactly between laws (laws of nature) and law statements:
II 28
There may then be local laws that can never be determined as a full law statement.
III 112
Uninstantiated Laws/UIL/Armstrong: I'll allow them, but as second-class cases of laws. - But there are no uninstantiated universals.
III 121
Uninstantiated Laws/Armstrong: disguised counterfactual conditionals, truth depends entirely on the actual (higher-level laws) - probability does not require the law of the excluded third, the non-true is not a fact - (VsWessel: Wessel has an operator for "unfact": >Operators/Wessel
Probability laws are only instantiated if probability is realized.
III 140
Laws with universal scope: "Everything is F" - is that at all possible? - How can a U to make itself necessary?
III 141
Law/Form/Armstrong: every law must have a dyadic structure, because otherwise it could not be used for inferences - universal law: Rel between "being something in the universe" and "being F".
Universe/Armstrong:The universe is really big garden! - (>Smith's garden is idiosyncratic) - Law in Smith's Garden: relation between quasi-Universals: "fruit in Smith's Garden" and genuine universal: "being an apple".
III 147f
Def Iron Laws/Armstrong: tell us that under certain conditions a state is necessary (or has a certain probability). - No matter what further conditions prevail - they apply, apply no matter what happens (but within certain conditions must be given for the particular).
III 148
Def Oaken Laws/Armstrong: are under certain conditions invalid - but only real universals can be involved.

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. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Armstrong I
David M. Armstrong
Meaning and Communication, The Philosophical Review 80, 1971, pp. 427-447
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle, Frankfurt/M. 1979

Armstrong II (a)
David M. Armstrong
Dispositions as Categorical States
Dispositions, Tim Crane, London New York 1996

Armstrong II (b)
David M. Armstrong
Place’ s and Armstrong’ s Views Compared and Contrasted
Dispositions, Tim Crane, London New York 1996

Armstrong II (c)
David M. Armstrong
Reply to Martin
Dispositions, Tim Crane, London New York 1996

Armstrong II (d)
David M. Armstrong
Second Reply to Martin London New York 1996

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

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2023-09-28
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