Platonic Laws of Nature

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):365-381 (2020)
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David Armstrong accepted the following three theses: universals are immanent, laws are relations between universals, and laws govern. Taken together, they form an attractive position, for they promise to explain regularities in nature—one of the most important desiderata for a theory of laws and properties—while remaining compatible with naturalism. However, I argue that the three theses are incompatible. The basic idea is that each thesis makes an explanatory claim, but the three claims can be shown to run in a problematic circle. I then consider which thesis we ought to reject and suggest some general lessons for the metaphysics of laws.

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Tyler Hildebrand
Dalhousie University


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