Single Idea 15743

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties]

Full Idea

Shall we say that natural properties are the ones that figure in laws of nature? - Not if we are going to use naturalness of properties when we draw the line between laws of nature and accidental regularities.

Gist of Idea

Defining natural properties by means of laws of nature is potentially circular


David Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds [1986], 1.5)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.63

A Reaction

Personally I wouldn't dream of defining anything by saying that it figured in laws of nature. The laws, if there be such (see Mumford) are built up from more fundamental components, such as (perhaps) properties.