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26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory

[laws are merely patterns in physical events]

40 ideas
I do not pretend to know the cause of gravity [Newton]
The laws of nature are mental regularities which we learn by experience [Berkeley]
Mill's regularity theory of causation is based on an effect preceded by a conjunction of causes [Mill, by Psillos]
In Mill's 'Method of Agreement' cause is the common factor in a range of different cases [Mill, by Psillos]
In Mill's 'Method of Difference' the cause is what stops the effect when it is removed [Mill, by Psillos]
If the world is just mechanical, its whole specification has no more explanation than mere chance [Peirce]
Laws of nature are merely complex networks of relations [Nietzsche]
It is hard to see how regularities could be explained [Quine]
Physical Laws are rhythms and patterns in nature, revealed by analysis [Feynman]
Regularities theories are poor on causal connections, counterfactuals and probability [Armstrong]
The introduction of sparse properties avoids the regularity theory's problem with 'grue' [Armstrong]
Regularities are lawful if a second-order universal unites two first-order universals [Armstrong, by Lewis]
A naive regularity view says if it never occurs then it is impossible [Armstrong]
Causal relations cannot be reduced to regularities, as they could occur just once [Ellis]
If laws are mere regularities, they give no grounds for future prediction [Swoyer]
Dretske and Armstrong base laws on regularities between individual properties, not between events [Mumford]
It is a regularity that whenever a person sneezes, someone (somewhere) promptly coughs [Mumford]
Would it count as a regularity if the only five As were also B? [Mumford]
Regularities are more likely with few instances, and guaranteed with no instances! [Mumford]
Pure regularities are rare, usually only found in idealized conditions [Mumford]
Regularity laws don't explain, because they have no governing role [Mumford]
Regularity doesn't seem sufficient for causation [Psillos]
It is not a law of nature that all the coins in my pocket are euros, though it is a regularity [Psillos]
A Humean view of causation says it is regularities, and causal facts supervene on non-causal facts [Psillos]
The regularity of a cock's crow is used to predict dawn, even though it doesn't cause it [Psillos]
'Humans with prime house numbers are mortal' is not a law, because not a natural kind [Maudlin]
Dispositional essentialism says laws (and laws about laws) are guaranteed regularities [Bird]
That other diamonds are hard does not explain why this one is [Bird]
'All uranium lumps are small' is a law, but 'all gold lumps are small' is not [Bird]
There can be remarkable uniformities in nature that are purely coincidental [Bird]
A law might have no instances, if it was about things that only exist momentarily [Bird]
If laws are just instances, the law should either have gaps, or join the instances arbitrarily [Bird]
Where is the regularity in a law predicting nuclear decay? [Bird]
Laws cannot explain instances if they are regularities, as something can't explain itself [Bird]
We can only infer a true regularity if something binds the instances together [Bird]
Similar appearance of siblings is a regularity, but shared parents is what links them [Bird]
There may be many laws, each with only a few instances [Bird]
Accidental regularities are not laws, and an apparent regularity may not be actual [Bird]
If we only infer laws from regularities among observations, we can't infer unobservable entities. [Bird]
Strict regularities are rarely discovered in life sciences [Leuridan]