First published in 1985, D. M. Armstrong's original work on what laws of nature are has continued to be influential in the areas of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Presenting a definitive attack on the sceptical Humean view, that laws are no more than a regularity of coincidence between stances of properties, Armstrong establishes his own theory and defends it concisely and systematically against objections. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Marc (...) Lange, illuminating its continuing importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this influential work is available for a new generation of readers. (shrink)
In considering the nature of properties four controversial decisions must be made. (1) Are properties universals or tropes? (2) Are properties attributes of particulars, or are particulars just bundles of properties? (3) Are properties categorical (qualitative) in nature, or are they powers? (4) If a property attaches to a particular, is this predication contingent, or is it necessary? These choices seem to be in a great degree independent of each other. The author indicates his own choices.
In my reply to michael devitt, It is argued, First, That quine fails to appreciate the force of plato's "one over many" argument for universals. It is argued, Second, That quine's failure springs in part at least from his doctrine of ontological commitment: from the view that predicates need not be treated with ontological seriousness. Finally, An attempt is made to blunt the force of devitt's contention that realists cannot give a coherent explanation of the way that universals stand to (...) particulars. (shrink)
The emphasis is always on the arguments used, and the way one position develops from another. By the end of the book the reader is afforded both a grasp of the state of the controversy, and how we got there.
The paper tries to rebut an objection to materialism. Anti-Materialists have argued that mental processes do not appear to be mere physical processes in the brain, And that secondary qualities such as sounds do not appear to be mere vibrations in the air. So materialists must admit that introspection and perception involve at least the illusion of the falsity of materialism. Using the headless woman illusion as a model, It is shown how the illusion is generated, And that it is (...) exactly what we ought to expect even if materialism is true. (shrink)
In this paper I put forward what I think is a new approach to the problem of induction. I sketched the approach in brief sections of a book published in 1983. The same idea had occurred to the English philosopher John Foster and he presented it in a paper at about the same time.
The object of this paper is to argue once again for the combinatorial account of possibility defended in earlier work. But there I failed fully to realise the dialectical advantages that accrue once one begins by assuming the hypothesis of logical atomism, the hypothesis that postulates simple particulars and simple universals at the bottom of the world. Logical atomism is, I incline to think, no better than ‘speculative cosmology’ as opposed to ‘analytic ontology’, to use Donald Williams’ terminology. It is, (...) however, not an implausible hypothesis given the current state of quantum physics. More important for our purposes here, the strictly combinatorial theory that flows rather naturally from the atomist metaphysics shows some promise of continuing to hold in a world that is not an atomist world. (shrink)
A philosophy might take its general inspiration from (1) commonsense; (2) careful observation; (3) philosophical argumentation; (4) the sciences; (5) "higher" sources of illumination. It is argued in this paper that it is bedrock commonsense, and the sciences, which are the most reliable foundations for a philosophy. This result is applied to the discussion and defense of a materialist theory of the mind.
Revenant sur la question des vérifacteurs, D. Armstrong demande ici d'abord comment concilier le maximalisme et la relation de nécessitation. L'A. examine quel sens métaphysique donner à la notion d'implication, et s'il y a un sens à admettre une contingence de re. Il traite à ce niveau des possibilités pures, examine le cas des aliens chez David Lewis, puis pose la question de savoir s'il est contingent de dire qu'il y a de l'être plutôt que rien. L'exposé le conduit à (...) traiter du cas des vérifacteurs pour les vérités nécessaires, mais adopte une thèse possibiliste pour les sujets de la science démonstrative. Il se clôt par un examen du genre de nécessité transcatégorielle qui est implicite à la généralisation des vérifacteurs. The A. wants to reconcile maximalisme about truthmakers and the relation of necessitation. He investigates the metaphysical sense of the implication and whether one can admit de re contingency. He examines the pure possibilities and the case of alien properties according with David Lewis and studies whether it is contingent that there is something rather than nothing. He analyses the truthmakers of necessary truths and adopts a possibilist thesis for matters of demonstrative science. He concludes with the transcategorial necessity which is implicit in the generalization of truthmakers. (shrink)
Most of the New Theory of Vision is an argument for a negative answer to Molyneux's question.// re primacy of vision in spatial perception: "most rational philosopher on this topic is Berkeley, whose New Theory of Vision presents in cogent detail the argument" (from Bennett 1966, p. 30, in note cites 41ff.).// Berkeley's criticisms of Locke: "If we really abstract from colour and hardness and all that 'belongs to sensation', so far from being left with 'pure' notions of extension and (...) figure, we are left with nothing but words emptied of meaning" (from Strawson 1966, p. 61). (shrink)