more from Chris Swoyer

Single Idea 10412

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory]

Full Idea

If laws were mere regularities, then the fact that observed Fs have been Gs would give us no reason to conclude that those Fs we haven't encountered will also be Gs.

Gist of Idea

If laws are mere regularities, they give no grounds for future prediction


Chris Swoyer (Properties [2000], 4.2)

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.32

A Reaction

I take this simple point to be very powerful. No amount of regularity gives grounds for asserting future patterns - one only has Humean habits. Causal mechanisms are what we are after.