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Laws of Nature: Regularity vs. Necessitarianism
Posted: 09 April 2010 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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StephenLawrence - 08 April 2010 03:34 PM
the PC apeman - 08 April 2010 04:49 AM
StephenLawrence - 08 April 2010 12:06 AM

I think I can use deductive reasoning based on premises which are assumptions of science.

So I think an assumption of science is there are infinite possible ways the world could be.

This sounds more like metaphysical wibble and not at all like a requirement for doing science.  How would doing science be different if your assumption was not the case?

There would be no variables, hard to imagine science without variables.

Stephen

I think we are mixing two concepts here.  I’ll call them ontological possibilities and epistemological possibilities.  Since we do not have complete knowledge (hence the drive behind doing science) we have unknowns, we have variables.  These are epistemological possibilities.  I’d call this a motivation for doing science, not a premise.

I took your proposed premise for science to be about ontological possibilities - an assumption that the world could have been other than it is (regardless of our knowledge of it).  I do not see how this is, or needs to be, assumed for doing science.  It seems to me the world would look the same to us in all respects (ie. as it is) regardless of whether it could have been otherwise or not.

How do we decide whether or not to accept a premise?  I’d say it’s based on coherence with observation - which is what science is about.  So I’m a bit confused about the notion of a premises for science.

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Posted: 06 June 2013 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Hi everyone,

I’m sorry to reply to this thread after 3 years. Should I open a new one?

I don’t get how the regularists explain the regularities.

If I understand well, Humeans say the disposition of the particles, or of any equivalent entities, is given to us first. They are the basic ontological objects. Anything else is statistical inference.
Fine, I can imagine that regularities have emerged from such objects, otherwise we would not even exist, but how come the regularities keep emerging again and again? We could have survived in a world much more chaotic, at least for a while. Given than chaos is more likely than order, it seems to me a miracle.

For instance, the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis gives a clear answer to my question: the regularities are the effects of some mathematical relations.
But what about the Lewis’s Plurality Of Worlds? What am I missing?

So far the only explanation I have is to assert not only a primal configuration of particles, but also a primal configuration of behaviors attached to these particles, so that the regularities keep going over the time by repeating the behaviors. But I don’t think that’s what Lewis had in mind.

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