Ideas from 'What is a Law of Nature?' by David M. Armstrong [1983], by Theme Structure

[found in 'What is a Law of Nature?' by Armstrong,D.M. [CUP 1985,0-521-31481-x]].

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Against Analysis
If you know what it is, investigation is pointless. If you don't, investigation is impossible
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 4. Existence as One
We can't deduce the phenomena from the One
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / b. Types of fact
Negative facts are supervenient on positive facts, suggesting they are positive facts
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 4. Formal Relations / a. Types of relation
Nothing is genuinely related to itself
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
All instances of some property are strictly identical
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Armstrong holds that all basic properties are categorical
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 7. Against Powers
Actualism means that ontology cannot contain what is merely physically possible
Dispositions exist, but their truth-makers are actual or categorical properties
If everything is powers there is a vicious regress, as powers are defined by more powers
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
Universals are just the repeatable features of a world
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Realist regularity theories of laws need universals, to pick out the same phenomena
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
Past, present and future must be equally real if universals are instantiated
Universals are abstractions from their particular instances
Universals are abstractions from states of affairs
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / b. Individuation by properties
It is likely that particulars can be individuated by unique conjunctions of properties
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
The identity of a thing with itself can be ruled out as a pseudo-property
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 5. Contingency
The necessary/contingent distinction may need to recognise possibilities as real
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
Induction aims at 'all Fs', but abduction aims at hidden or theoretical entities
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
Science suggests that the predicate 'grue' is not a genuine single universal
Unlike 'green', the 'grue' predicate involves a time and a change
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / b. Raven paradox
The raven paradox has three disjuncts, confirmed by confirming any one of them
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
A good reason for something (the smoke) is not an explanation of it (the fire)
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Lawlike explanations
To explain observations by a regular law is to explain the observations by the observations
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / a. Best explanation
Best explanations explain the most by means of the least
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought
Each subject has an appropriate level of abstraction
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / b. Types of cause
Absences might be effects, but surely not causes?
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Science depends on laws of nature to study unobserved times and spaces
A universe couldn't consist of mere laws
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 2. Types of Laws
Oaken conditional laws, Iron universal laws, and Steel necessary laws
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 3. Laws and Generalities
Newton's First Law refers to bodies not acted upon by a force, but there may be no such body
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
Regularities are lawful if a second-order universal unites two first-order universals
A naive regularity view says if it never occurs then it is impossible
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 5. Laws from Universals
The laws of nature link properties with properties
Rather than take necessitation between universals as primitive, just make laws primitive
Armstrong has an unclear notion of contingent necessitation, which can't necessitate anything