Combining Texts

All the ideas for 'The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed]', 'What is a Law of Nature?st2=David M. Armstrong' and 'Power/Knowledge'

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49 ideas

1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 7. Limitations of Analysis
If you know what it is, investigation is pointless. If you don't, investigation is impossible [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Paradox of Analysis:if we ask what sort of thing an X is, then either we know what an X is or we do not. If we know then there is no need to ask the question. If we do not know then there is no way to begin the investigation. It's pointless or impossible
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 01.2)
     A reaction: [G.E. Moore is the source of this, somewhere] Plato worried that to get to know something you must already know it. Solving this requires the concept of a 'benign' circularity.
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 5. Objectivity
Fichte's subjectivity struggles to then give any account of objectivity [Pinkard on Fichte]
     Full Idea: For Fichte 'subjectivity' came first, and he was then stuck with the (impossible) task of showing how 'objectivity' arose out of it.
     From: comment on Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 06
     A reaction: The best available answer to this problem (for idealists) is, I think, Nietzsche's perspectives, in which multiple subjectivities are summed to produce a blurred picture which has a degree of consensus. Fichte later embraced other minds.
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / c. not
Normativity needs the possibility of negation, in affirmation and denial [Fichte, by Pinkard]
     Full Idea: To adopt any kind of normative stance is to commit oneself necessarily to the possibility of negation. It involves doing something correctly or incorrectly, so there must exist the possibility of denying or affirming.
     From: report of Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 05
     A reaction: This seems to be the key idea for understanding Hegel's logic. Personally I think animals have a non-verbal experience of negation - when a partner dies, for example.
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / b. Types of fact
Negative facts are supervenient on positive facts, suggesting they are positive facts [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Negative facts appear to be supervenient upon the positive facts, which suggests that they are nothing more than the positive facts.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 10.3)
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 4. Formal Relations / a. Types of relation
Nothing is genuinely related to itself [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: I believe that nothing is genuinely related to itself.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 10.7)
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
All instances of some property are strictly identical [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: A property ...is something which is strictly identical, strictly the same, in all its different instances.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.2)
     A reaction: Some is gravitation one property, or an infinity of properties, for each of its values? What is the same between objects of different mass. I sort of believe in all the masses, but I'm not sure what 'mass' is. Abstraction, say I.
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Armstrong holds that all basic properties are categorical [Armstrong, by Ellis]
     Full Idea: I am against Armstrong's strong categoricalism, that is, the thesis that all basic properties are categorical.
     From: report of David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983]) by Brian Ellis - The Metaphysics of Scientific Realism 3
     A reaction: I certainly agree with this, as I cannot see where the power would come from to get the whole thing off the ground. Armstrong depends on universals to necessitate what happens, which I find very peculiar.
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 7. Against Powers
Dispositions exist, but their truth-makers are actual or categorical properties [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: It is not denied that statements attributing dispositions and/or powers to objects are often true. But the truth-makers or ontological ground for such statements must always be found in the actual, or categorical, properties of the objects involved.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 01.3)
     A reaction: This is the big debate in the topic of powers. I love powers, but you always think there must be 'something' which has the power. Could reality entirely consist of powers? See Fetzer.
If everything is powers there is a vicious regress, as powers are defined by more powers [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: I believe reducing all universals to powers is involved in vicious regress. The power is what it is by the sort of actualisations it gives rise to in suitable sorts of circumstances. But they themselves can be nothing but powers...
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 08.3)
     A reaction: [compressed wording] I don't see this problem. Anything postulated as fundamental is going to be baffling. Why are categorical properties superior to powers? Postulate basic powers (or basic empowered stuff), then build up.
Actualism means that ontology cannot contain what is merely physically possible [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Actualism ...debars us from admitting into our ontology the merely possible, not only the merely logically possible, but also the merely physically possible.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 01.3)
     A reaction: This is the big metaphysical question for fans (like myself) of 'powers' in nature. Armstrong declares himself an Actualist. I take it as obvious that the actual world contains powers, but how are we to characterise them?
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
Universals are just the repeatable features of a world [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Universals can be brought into the spatio-temporal world, becoming simply the repeatable features of that world.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.2)
     A reaction: I wish Armstrong wouldn't use the word 'universal', which has so much historical baggage. The world obviously has repeatable features, but does that mean that our ontology must include things called 'features'? Hm.
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Realist regularity theories of laws need universals, to pick out the same phenomena [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: A Realistic version of a Regularity theory of laws will have to postulate universals. How else will it be possible to say that the different instances of a certain uniformity are all instances of objectively the same phenomenon?
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 02.4)
     A reaction: I disagree. We may (or may not) need properties, but they can be have a range. We just need stable language. We use one word 'red', even when the shade of redness varies. Non-realists presumably refer to sense-data.
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
Past, present and future must be equally real if universals are instantiated [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Past, present and future I take to be all and equally real. A universal need not be instantiated now.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.2)
     A reaction: This is the price you must pay for saying that you only believe in universals which are instantiated.
Universals are abstractions from states of affairs [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Universals are abstractions from states of affairs.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 7)
     A reaction: I'm getting confused about Armstrong's commitments. He bases his whole theory on the existence of universals (repeatable features), but now says those are 'abstracted' from something else. Abstracted by us?
Universals are abstractions from their particular instances [Armstrong, by Lewis]
     Full Idea: Armstrong takes universals generally, and structural universals along with the rest, to be abstractions from their particular instances.
     From: report of David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], p.83-4) by David Lewis - Against Structural Universals 'The pictorial'
     A reaction: To me, 'abstracted' implies a process of human psychology, a way of thinking about the instances. I don't see how there can be an 'abstracted' relation which is a part of the external world. That makes his laws of nature human creations.
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / b. Individuation by properties
It is likely that particulars can be individuated by unique conjunctions of properties [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: For each particular it is likely that there exists at least one individuating conjunction of properties, that is, a conjunction of properties such that the particular instantiates this conjunction and nothing else does.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 02.3)
     A reaction: Armstrong commits to a famous Leibniz view, but I don't see his grounds for it. There is nothing incoherent about nature churning out perfect replicas of things, such as quarks and electrons. Would we care if two pens were perfectly identical?
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
The identity of a thing with itself can be ruled out as a pseudo-property [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: There is reason to rule out as pseudo-properties such things as the identity of a thing with itself.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.2)
     A reaction: Good on you, David.
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 5. Contingency
The necessary/contingent distinction may need to recognise possibilities as real [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: It may be that the necessary/contingent distinction is tied to a metaphysics which recognises possibility as a real something wider than actuality.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 11.2)
     A reaction: Armstrong responds by trying to give an account of possibility in terms of 'combinations' from actuality. I think powers offer a much better strategy.
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 4. Necessity from Concepts
Necessary truths from basic assertion and negation [Fichte, by Pinkard]
     Full Idea: Fichte thought that everything that involves necessary truths - even mathematics and logic - should be shown to follow from the more basic principles involved in assertion and negation.
     From: report of Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 05
     A reaction: An interesting proposal, though I am struggling to see how it works. Fichte sees assertion and negation as foundational (Idea 22017), but I take them to be responses to the real world.
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / b. Transcendental idealism
Fichte's logic is much too narrow, and doesn't deduce ethics, art, society or life [Schlegel,F on Fichte]
     Full Idea: Only Fichte's principles are deduced in his book, that is, the logical ones, and not even these completely. And what about the practical, the moral and ethical ones. Society, learning, wit, art, and so on are also entitled to be deduced here.
     From: comment on Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Friedrich Schlegel - works Vol 18 p.34
     A reaction: This is the beginnings of the romantic rebellion against a rather narrowly rationalist approach to philosophy. Schlegel also objects to the fact that Fichte only had one axiom (presumably the idea of the not-Self).
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / d. Absolute idealism
Fichte's key claim was that the subjective-objective distinction must itself be subjective [Fichte, by Pinkard]
     Full Idea: Fichte's key claim was that the difference between the subjective and the objective points of view had to be itself a subjective distinction, something that the 'I' posits.
     From: report of Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 09
     A reaction: This seems to lock us firmly into the idealist mental prison and throw away the key.
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
Induction aims at 'all Fs', but abduction aims at hidden or theoretical entities [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Many philosophers of science have distinguished between 'simple induction' - the argument from observed Fs to all Fs - and the argument to hidden or theoretical entities (Peirce's 'abduction').
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.7)
     A reaction: 'Abduction' is (roughly) the same is inference to the best explanation, of which I am a great fan.
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
Science suggests that the predicate 'grue' is not a genuine single universal [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: It is plausible to say, on the basis of total science, that 'grue' is a predicate to which no genuine, that is, unitary, universal corresponds.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.7)
Unlike 'green', the 'grue' predicate involves a time and a change [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: The predicate 'grue' involves essential reference to a particular time, which 'green' does not. Also on the 'grue' hypothesis a change occurs in emeralds in a way that change does not occur on the 'green' hypothesis.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 04.5)
     A reaction: I'm inclined to think that comparing 'grue' with 'green' is a category mistake. 'Grue' is a behaviour. Armstrong says this is no objection, because Goodman's argument is purely formal.
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / b. Raven paradox
The raven paradox has three disjuncts, confirmed by confirming any one of them [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: We could rewrite the generalisation as For all x, ((x is a raven and x is black) v (x is not a raven and x is black) v (x is not a raven and x is not black)). Instances of any one of the three disjuncts will do as confirmation.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 04.3)
     A reaction: A nice clarification.
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) [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: A good reason for P is not necessarily an explanation of P. The presence of smoke is a good reason for thinking that fire is present. But it is not an explanation of the presence of fire.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 04.2)
     A reaction: This may be an equivocation on 'the reason for'. Smoke is a reason for thinking there is a fire, but no one would propose it as a reason for the fire. If the reason for the fire was arson, that would seem to explain it as well.
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations
To explain observations by a regular law is to explain the observations by the observations [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Given the Regularity theory, the explanatory element seems to vanish. For to say that all the observed Fs are Gs because all the Fs are Gs involves explaining the observations in terms of themselves.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.7)
     A reaction: This point cries out, it is so obvious (once spotted). Tigers are ferocious because all tigers are ferocious (see?).
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / a. Best explanation
Best explanations explain the most by means of the least [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: The best explanation explains the most by means of the least. Explanation unifies.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 05.4)
     A reaction: To get unification, you need to cite the diversity of what is explained, and not the mere quantity. The force of gravity unifies because it applies to such a diversity of things.
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / a. Other minds
We only see ourselves as self-conscious and rational in relation to other rationalities [Fichte]
     Full Idea: A rational creature cannot posit itself as such a creature with self-consciousness without positing itself as an individual, as one among many rational creatures.
     From: Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794], p.8), quoted by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 05 n25
     A reaction: [1796 book about his Wissenschaftlehre] This is the transcendental (Kantian) approach to other minds. Wittgenstein's private language argument is similar. Hegel was impressed by this idea (I think).
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self
The Self is the spontaneity, self-relatedness and unity needed for knowledge [Fichte, by Siep]
     Full Idea: According to Fichte, spontaneity, self-relatedness, and unity are the basic traits of knowledge (which includes conscience). ...This principle of all knowledge is what he calls the 'I' or the Self.
     From: report of Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Ludwig Siep - Fichte p.58
     A reaction: This is the idealist view. He gets 'spontaneity' from Kant, which is the mind's contribution to experience. Self-relatedness is the distinctive Fichte idea. Unity presumably means total coherence, which is typical of idealists.
Novalis sought a much wider concept of the ego than Fichte's proposal [Novalis on Fichte]
     Full Idea: Novalis aimed to create a theory of the ego with a much wider scope than Fichte's doctrine of knowledge had been able to establish. ....Without philosophy, imperfect poet - without poetry, imperfect thinker.
     From: comment on Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Novalis - Logological Fragments I vol.3 p.531
     A reaction: [in his 'Fichte Studies] Since this is at the heart of early romanticism, I take the concept to embrace nature, as well as creative imagination. There is a general rebellion against the narrowness of Fichte.
The self is not a 'thing', but what emerges from an assertion of normativity [Fichte, by Pinkard]
     Full Idea: Fichte said the self is not a natural 'thing' but is itself a normative status, and 'it' can obtain this status, so it seems, only by an act of attributing it to itself. ...He continually identified the 'I' with 'reason' itself.
     From: report of Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 05
     A reaction: Pinkard says Fichte gradually qualified this claim. Fichte struggled to state his view in a way that avoided obvious paradoxes. 'My mind produces decisions, so there must be someone in charge of them'? Is this transcendental?
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 6. Self as Higher Awareness
Consciousness of an object always entails awareness of the self [Fichte]
     Full Idea: I can be conscious of any object only on the condition that I am also conscious of myself, that is, of the conscious subject. This proposition is incontrovertible.
     From: Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794], p.112), quoted by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 05
     A reaction: [from the 1797/8 version of Wissenschaftslehre] Russell might be cross to find that his idea on this was anticipated by Fichte. I still approve of the idea.
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / a. Nature of Judgement
Judgement is distinguishing concepts, and seeing their relations [Fichte, by Siep]
     Full Idea: For Fichte, to judge means to distinguish concepts from one another and to place them in relationship to one another.
     From: report of Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Ludwig Siep - Fichte p.59
     A reaction: This idea of Fichte's seems to be the key one for Hegel, and hence (I presume) it is the lynchpin of German Idealism. It seems to describe mathematical knowledge quite well. I don't think it fits judging whether there is a snake in the grass.
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought
Each subject has an appropriate level of abstraction [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: To every subject, its appropriate level of abstraction.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 01.2)
     A reaction: Mathematics rises through many levels of abstraction. Economics can be very concrete or very abstract. It think it is clearer to talk of being 'general', rather than 'abstract'.
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
Fichte's idea of spontaneity implied that nothing counts unless we give it status [Fichte, by Pinkard]
     Full Idea: Fichte placed emphasis on human spontaneity, on nothing 'counting' for us unless we somehow bestowed some kind of status on it.
     From: report of Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 06
     A reaction: This idea evidentally arises from Kant's account of thought. Pinkard says this idea inspired the early Romantics. I would have thought the drive to exist (Spinoza's conatus) would make things count whether we liked it or not.
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 2. Social Freedom / g. Social power
Foucault can't accept that power is sometimes decent and benign [Foucault, by Scruton]
     Full Idea: It became impossible for Foucault to accept that power is sometimes decent and benign.
     From: report of Michel Foucault (Power/Knowledge [1980]) by Roger Scruton - Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture p.12
     A reaction: Actually Idea 7425 suggests that Foucault has no dream of eliminating power, but he does seem to be utterly in favour of maximum autonomy, and to regard paternalism as inherently evil. What sort of parent would Foucault have been?
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature
Fichte reduces nature to a lifeless immobility [Schlegel,F on Fichte]
     Full Idea: Fichte reduces the non-Ego or nature to a state of constant calm, standstill, immobility, lack of all change, movement and life, that is death.
     From: comment on Johann Fichte (The Science of Knowing (Wissenschaftslehre) [1st ed] [1794]) by Friedrich Schlegel - works vol 12 p.190
     A reaction: The point is that Fichte's nature is a merely logical or conceptual deduction from the spontaneous reason of the self, so it can't have the lively diversity we find in nature.
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / e. The One
We can't deduce the phenomena from the One [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: No serious and principled deduction of the phenomena from the One has ever been given, or looks likely to be given.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 11)
     A reaction: This seems to pick out the best reason why hardly anybody (apart from Jonathan Schaffer) takes the One seriously.
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Types of cause
Absences might be effects, but surely not causes? [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Lacks and absences could perhaps by thought of as effects, but we ought to be deeply reluctant to think of them as causes.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 10.4)
     A reaction: Odd. So we allow that they exist (as effects), but then deny that they have any causal powers?
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Science depends on laws of nature to study unobserved times and spaces [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: The scientist trying to establish the geography and history of the unobserved portion of the universe must depend upon what he takes to be the laws of the universe.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 01.1)
     A reaction: This does seem to be the prime reason why we wish to invoke 'laws', but we could just as well say that we have to rely on induction. Spot patterns, then expect more of the same. Spot necessities? Mathematics is very valuable here, of course.
A universe couldn't consist of mere laws [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: A universe could hardly consist of laws and nothing else.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.4)
     A reaction: Hm. Discuss. How does a universe come into existence, if there are no laws to guide its creation?
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 2. Types of Laws
Oaken conditional laws, Iron universal laws, and Steel necessary laws [Armstrong, by PG]
     Full Idea: Three degress of law: 1) 'Oaken laws' where all Fs that aren't Hs are Gs; 2) 'Iron' laws where all Fs are Gs; and 3) 'Steel' laws where all Fs must be Gs.
     From: report of David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 10.4) by PG - Db (ideas)
     A reaction: [My summary of Armstrong's distinction] One response is to say that all laws are actually Oaken - see Mumfor and Mumford/Lill Anjum. It's all ceteris paribus.
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 [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: Newton's First Law of Motion tells us what happens to a body which is not acted upon by a force. Yet it may be that the antecedent of the law is never instantiated. It may be that every body that there is, is acted upon by some force.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 02.7)
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 [Armstrong, by Lewis]
     Full Idea: Armstrong's theory holds that what makes certain regularities lawful are second-order states of affairs N(F,G) in which the two ordinary first-order universals F and G are related by a certain dyadic second-order universal N.
     From: report of David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983]) by David Lewis - New work for a theory of universals 'Laws and C'
     A reaction: [see Lewis's footnote] I take the view (from Shoemaker and Ellis) that laws of nature are just plain regularities which arise from the hierarchy of natural kinds. We don't need a commitment to 'universals'.
A naive regularity view says if it never occurs then it is impossible [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: It is a Humean uniformity that no race of ravens is white-feathered. Hence, if the Naive Regularity analysis of law is correct, it is a law that no race of ravens is white-feathered, that is, such a race is physically impossible. A most unwelcome result.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 02.6)
     A reaction: Chapters 2-4 of Armstrong are a storming attack on the regularity view of laws of nature, and this idea is particularly nice. Laws must refer to what could happen, not what happens to happen.
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 5. Laws from Universals
Rather than take necessitation between universals as primitive, just make laws primitive [Maudlin on Armstrong]
     Full Idea: My own view is simple: the laws of nature ought to be accepted as ontologically primitive. …They are preferable in point of familiarity to such necessitation relations between universals.
     From: comment on David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983]) by Tim Maudlin - The Metaphysics within Physics 1.4
     A reaction: I think you make natures of things primitive, and reduce laws to regularities and universals to resemblances. Job done. Natures are even more 'familiar' as primitives than laws are.
Armstrong has an unclear notion of contingent necessitation, which can't necessitate anything [Bird on Armstrong]
     Full Idea: The two criticisms levelled against Armstrong are that it is unclear what his relation of contingent necessitation is, and that it is unclear how it is able to necessitate anything.
     From: comment on David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983]) by Alexander Bird - Nature's Metaphysics 3.1.2
     A reaction: I suppose someone has to explore the middle ground between the mere contingencies of Humean regularities and the strong necessities of scientific essentialism. The area doesn't, however, look promising.
The laws of nature link properties with properties [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: There is an utterly natural idea that the laws of nature link properties with properties.
     From: David M. Armstrong (What is a Law of Nature? [1983], 06.3)
     A reaction: Put it this way: given that properties are expressions of invariant powers, the interaction of two properties will (ceteris paribus) be invariant, and laws are just invariances in natural behaviour.