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Unformatted text preview: Unit 3, 4 Outline 1. Laws of Nature (A) Regularity Theories (i) Hume’s original-It’s a law that all A’s are B’s -EX: If an A then B is always true (ii) Hume’s with first existential modification-All A’s are B’s is always true and there is an A (ii) Hume’s with counterfactual modification-If A then B is always true and if something were an A, then it would be a B (B) Problems (i) Vacuous “Laws”-need to add initial claim that there is an A. -objection to simple regulatory theory (if A then always B), says that true with out A…mermaids are always blue…but there are no mermaids… need to add initial idea that there are mermaid. (ii) Non-instantial Laws-there are no such particles-all particles with no force remain at rest or acting in a straight line...there aren’t any particles because there is always a force like gravity. (iii) Probabilistic Laws-Not in the form of all As are Bs-EX: half life is 1620 years, so it will prob. Decay in 1620 is 1/2 (iv) Accidental Generalizations-Moral: laws must tell us what would happen if things were different- not only what actually happens.-All dogs born at sear are not cockerspanials…Generalizations don’t have to support conterfuctuals about how things could have been but laws must. (v) Circularity Worry-Gold sphere and oranion sphere. It is metaphysically possible that both are a mile in diameter, but it is physically impossible that the uranium is. What does it mean to be physically possible? To appeal to a law of nature. But we need to know the possibilities of physical form to know a natural law…Circular!-These arguments are circular because we need a physically possible object.-Generalizations about actual things cant happen. Laws tell us what would happen if things were different. (vi) Order of Explanation Worry-Can’t work because it gets the order backwards because we cant appeal to counterfactuals to explain laws. (C) Know which of Hume’s views (modified or not) each problem is a problem for, and exactly why....
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This note was uploaded on 05/01/2008 for the course PHIL 1400 taught by Professor Christianlee during the Spring '08 term at Colorado.
- Spring '08