Analysis 65 (2):147-55 (2005)

Authors
Alexander James Bird
Cambridge University
Abstract
I show that Armstrong’s view of laws as second-order contingent relations of ‘necessitation’ among categorical properties faces a dilemma. The necessitation relation confers a relation of extensional inclusion (‘constant conjunction’) on its relata. It does so either necessarily or contingently. If necessarily, it is not a categorical relation (in the relevant sense). If contingently, then an explanation is required of how it confers extensional inclusion. That explanation will need to appeal to a third-order relation between necessitation and extensional inclusion. The same dilemma reappears at this level. Either Armstrong must concede that some properties are not categorical but have essential powers – or he is faced with a regress.
Keywords Armstrong laws necessitation
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8284.2005.00542.x
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.

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Citations of this work BETA

Non‐Humean Theories of Natural Necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):1-1.
The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
I—Fundamental Powers, Evolved Powers, and Mental Powers.Alexander Bird - 2018 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 92 (1):247-275.
Natural Properties, Necessary Connections, and the Problem of Induction.Tyler Hildebrand - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:668-689.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

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