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  1. D. M. Armstrong (1988). Are Dispositions Ultimate? Reply to Franklin. Philosophical Quarterly 38 (150):84-86.
  2. David M. Armstrong (2005). Four Disputes About Properties. Synthese 144 (3):1-12.
    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.
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  3. William A. Bauer (2013). Dispositional Essentialism and the Nature of Powerful Properties. Disputatio 5 (35).
    Dispositional essentialism maintains that all sparse properties are essentially powerful. Two conceptions of sparse properties appear compatible with dispositional essentialism: sparse properties as pure powers or as powerful qualities. This paper compares the two views, criticizes the powerful qualities view, and then develops a new theory of pure powers, termed Point Theory. This theory neutralizes the main advantage powerful qualities appear to possess over pure powers—explaining the existence of powers during latency periods. The paper discusses the relation between powers and (...)
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  4. William A. Bauer (2012). Four Theories of Pure Dispositions. In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge. 139-162.
    The dispositional properties encountered in everyday experience seem to have causal bases in other properties, e.g., the microstructure of a vase is the causal basis of its fragility. In contrast, the Pure Dispositions Thesis maintains that some dispositions require no causal basis. This thesis faces the Problem of Being: without a causal basis, there appears to be no grounds for the existence of pure dispositions. This paper establishes criteria for evaluating the problem, critically examines four theories of the being of (...)
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  5. William A. Bauer (2010). The Ontology of Pure Dispositions. Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation defends and develops the thesis that some instances, or tokens, of dispositional properties are pure. A pure disposition has no causal basis in any further properties beyond the disposition. A causal basis typically consists of some set of properties underlying a disposition that enables the disposition to manifest when stimulated in the appropriate circumstances. For example, a vase is fragile because it is disposed to break when a hammer or other suitable object strikes it, where the causal basis (...)
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  6. Nora Berenstain (forthcoming). Necessary Laws and Chemical Kinds. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    Contingentism, generally contrasted with law necessitarianism, is the view that the laws of nature are contingent. This view is often coupled with the claim that their contingency is knowable a priori. This paper considers Bird’s (2001), (2002), (2005), and (2007) arguments that, necessarily, salt dissolves in water, and defends his view against Beebee’s (2001) and Psillos’s (2002) contingentist objections. A new contingentist objection is offered and several reasons for skepticism about its success are raised. It is concluded that certain higher-level (...)
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  7. Gustav Bergmann (1955). Dispositional Properties and Dispositions. Philosophical Studies 6 (5):77-80.
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  8. Tomasz Bigaj (2010). Dispositional Monism and the Circularity Objection. Metaphysica 11 (1):39-47.
    Three basic positions regarding the nature of fundamental properties are: dispositional monism, categorical monism and the mixed view. Dispositional monism apparently involves a regress or circularity, while an unpalatable consequence of categorical monism and the mixed view is that they are committed to quidditism. I discuss Alexander Bird's defence of dispositional monism based on the structuralist approach to identity. I argue that his solution does not help standard dispositional essentialism, as it admits the possibility that two distinct dispositional properties can (...)
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  9. Alexander Bird (2010). Causation and the Manifestation of Powers. In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    It is widely agreed that many causal relations can be regarded as dependent upon causal relations that are in some way more basic. For example, knocking down the first domino in a row of one hundred dominoes will be the cause of the hundredth domino falling. But this causal relation exists in virtue of the knocking of the first domino causing the falling of the second domino, and so forth. In such a case, A causes B in virtue of there (...)
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  10. Alexander Bird (2009). Structural Properties Revisited. In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Clarendon Press. 215--41.
    Those who hold that all fundamental sparse properties have dispositional essences face a problem with structural (e.g. geometrical) properties. In this paper I consider a further route for the dispositional monist that is enabled by the requirement that physical theories should be background-free. If this requirement is respected then we can see how spatial displacement can be a causally active relation and hence may be understood dispositionally.
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  11. Alexander Bird (2007). Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. Oxford University Press.
    Professional philosophers and advanced students working in metaphysics and the philosophy of science will find this book both provocative and stimulating.
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  12. Alexander Bird (2003). Structural Properties. In Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra & Hallvard Lillehammer (eds.), Real Metaphysics. Routledge. 155-68.
    Dispositional essentialists claim that dispositional properties are essentially dispositional: a property would not be the property it is unless it carried with it certain dispositional powers. Categoricalists about dispositional properties deny this, asserting that the same properties might have had different dispositional powers, had the contingent laws of nature been otherwise.
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  13. Alexander Bird, B. D. Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.) (2012). Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge.
    While the phrase "metaphysics of science" has been used from time to time, it has only recently begun to denote a specific research area where metaphysics meets philosophy of science—and the sciences themselves. The essays in this volume demonstrate that metaphysics of science is an innovative field of research in its own right. The principal areas covered are: (1) The modal metaphysics of properties: What is the essential nature of natural properties? Are all properties essentially categorical? Are they all essentially (...)
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  14. Simon W. Blackburn (1990). Filling in Space. Analysis 50 (2):62-5.
  15. Daniel Bonevac, Josh Dever & and David Sosa (2006). The Conditional Fallacy. Philosophical Review 115 (3):273-316.
    To say that this lump of sugar is soluble is to say that it would dissolve, if submerged anywhere, at any time and in any parcel of water. To say that this sleeper knows French, is to say that if, for example, he is ever addressed in French, or shown any French newspaper, he responds pertinently in French, acts appropriately or translates correctly into his own tongue.
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  16. Chad Carmichael (2013). The Universe As We Find It, by John Heil. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2013.
    In this ambitious work, John Heil presents a fundamental ontology (chapters 1-8) consisting of finitely many substances and their properties (which he thinks of as particular, trope-like things), together with an account of causation, truthmaking, and a chapter on relations generally. He then applies this ontology (chapters 9-12) to a number of outstanding problems about reductionism, kinds, essences, emergence, consciousness, cognition, and much else. A final chapter reprises the main points about fundamental ontology from the first chapters.
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  17. Anjan Chakravartty (2003). The Dispositional Essentialist View of Properties and Laws. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):393 – 413.
    One view of the nature of properties has been crystallized in recent debate by an identity thesis proposed by Shoemaker. The general idea is that there is for behaviour. Well-known criticisms of this approach, however, remain unanswered, and the details of its connections to laws nothing more to being a particular causal property than conferring certain dispositions of nature and the precise ontology of causal properties stand in need of development. This paper examines and defends a dispositional essentialist account of (...)
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  18. Sungho Choi, Purely Dispositional Worlds.
    In this paper I will discuss Richard Holton’s defence of dispositionalism that all properties are essentially dispositional. By way of countering the objection that dispositionalism generates an infinite regress, Holton attempts to advance a consistent model of possible worlds where all truths are dispositional truths. But I will argue that the simple conditional analysis of dispositions, on which Holton’s model is built, is so mistaken that Holton’s model fails to serve his goal. What is more, it is not likely that (...)
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  19. Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield (2007). Finking Frankfurt. Philosophical Studies 135 (3):363--74.
    Michael Smith has resisted Harry Frankfurt's claim that moral responsibility does not require the ability to have done otherwise. He does this by claiming that, in Frankfurt cases, the ability to do otherwise is indeed present, but is a disposition that has been `finked' or masked by other factors. We suggest that, while Smith's account appears to work for some classic Frankfurt cases, it does not work for all. In particular, Smith cannot explain cases, such as the Willing Addict, where (...)
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  20. Jonathan Cohen (2002). On an Alleged Non-Equivalence Between Dispositions and Disjunctive Properties. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (1):77-81.
    This paper shows that grounded dispositions are necessarily coextensive with disjunctive properties. It responds to several objections against this thesis, and then shows how to construct a disjunctive property necessarily coextensive with an arbitrary grounded disposition.
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  21. Florian Cova (2014). Frankfurt-Style Cases User Manual: Why Frankfurt-Style Enabling Cases Do Not Necessitate Tech Support. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):505-521.
    ‘Frankfurt-style cases’ (FSCs) are widely considered as having refuted the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) by presenting cases in which an agent is morally responsible even if he could not have done otherwise. However, Neil Levy (J Philos 105:223–239, 2008) has recently argued that FSCs fail because we are not entitled to suppose that the agent is morally responsible, given that the mere presence of a counterfactual intervener is enough to make an agent lose responsibility-grounding abilities. Here, I distinguish two (...)
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  22. Sam Cowling (2010). Kantian Humility and Ontological Categories. Analysis 70 (4):659-665.
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  23. J. W. Roxbee Cox (1975). Mackie on Dispositional Properties. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 26 (3):232-234.
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  24. Troy Cross (2013). Review of Groff and Greco, Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  25. Troy Cross (2012). Goodbye, Humean Supervenience. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:129-153.
    Reductionists about dispositions must either say the natural properties are all dispositional or individuate properties hyperintensionally. Lewis stands in as an example of the sort of combination I think is incoherent: properties individuated by modal profile + categoricalism.
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  26. Troy Cross (2012). Review of Marmodoro, Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  27. Troy Cross (2005). What is a Disposition? Synthese 144 (3):321-41.
    Attempts to capture the distinction between categorical and dispositional states in terms of more primitive modal notions – subjunctive conditionals, causal roles, or combinatorial principles – are bound to fail. Such failure is ensured by a deep symmetry in the ways dispositional and categorical states alike carry modal import. But the categorical/dispositional distinction should not be abandoned; it underpins important metaphysical disputes. Rather, it should be taken as a primitive, after which the doomed attempts at reductive explanation can be transformed (...)
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  28. Mauro Dorato, Properties and Dispositions: Some Metaphysical Remarks on Quantum Ontology.
    After some suggestions about how to clarify the confused metaphysical distinctions between dispositional and non-dispositional or categorical properties, I review some of the main interpretations of QM in order to show that – with the relevant exception of Bohm’s minimalist interpretation – quantum ontology is irreducibly dispositional. Such an irreducible character of dispositions must be explained differently in different interpretations, but the reducibility of the contextual properties in the case of Bohmian mechanics is guaranteed by the fact that the positions (...)
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  29. Antony Eagle (2009). Causal Structuralism, Dispositional Actualism, and Counterfactual Conditionals. In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press. 65--99.
    Dispositional essentialists are typically committed to two claims: that properties are individuated by their causal role (‘causal structuralism’), and that natural necessity is to be explained by appeal to these causal roles (‘dispositional actualism’). I argue that these two claims cannot be simultaneously maintained; and that the correct response is to deny dispositional actualism. Causal structuralism remains an attractive position, but doesn’t in fact provide much support for dispositional essentialism.
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  30. Jim Edwards (1992). Secondary Qualities and the a Priori. Mind 101 (402):263-272.
  31. Brian Ellis (2010). Causal Powers and Categorical Properties. In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that there are categorical properties as well as causal powers, and that the world would not exist as we know it without them. For categorical properties are needed to define the powers—to locate them, and to specify their laws of action. These categorical properties, I shall argue, are not dispositional. For their identities do not depend on what they dispose their bearers to do. They are, as Alexander Bird would say, ’quiddities’. But (...)
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  32. Brian Ellis (2005). Katzav on the Limitations of Dispositionalism. Analysis 65 (285):90–92.
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  33. Brian Ellis & Caroline Lierse (1994). Dispositional Essentialism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):27 – 45.
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  34. Steve Fleetwood (2010). Powers and Tendencies Revisited. Journal of Critical Realism 10 (1):80-99.
    While powers and tendencies are among the most fundamen- tal concepts of critical realism, there are several problems with these concepts that have been ignored, avoided or glossed. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to tease out these problems and provide clarification and consistency where possible. In the first section of the paper I sketch the existing critical realist conceptualization of tendencies by identifying eight distinct moments in a causal chain, denoted tendency1 to tendency8. In section two I ask: (...)
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  35. Sharon Ford (2012). Objects, Discreteness, and Pure Power Theories: George Molnar’s Critique of Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties. [REVIEW] Metaphysica 13 (2):195-215.
    Sydney Shoemaker’s causal theory of properties is an important starting place for some contemporary metaphysical perspectives concerning the nature of properties. In this paper, I discuss the causal and intrinsic criteria that Shoemaker stipulates for the identity of genuine properties and relations, and address George Molnar’s criticism that holding both criteria presents an unbridgeable hypothesis in the causal theory of properties. The causal criterion requires that properties and relations contribute to the causal powers of objects if they are to be (...)
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  36. Sharon R. Ford (2012). Objects, Discreteness, and Pure Power Theories: George Molnar’s Critique of Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties. [REVIEW] Metaphysica 13 (2):195-215.
    Sydney Shoemaker’s causal theory of properties is an important starting place for some contemporary metaphysical perspectives concerning the nature of properties. In this paper, I discuss the causal and intrinsic criteria that Shoemaker stipulates for the identity of genuine properties and relations, and address George Molnar’s criticism that holding both criteria presents an unbridgeable hypothesis in the causal theory of properties. The causal criterion requires that properties and relations contribute to the causal powers of objects if they are to be (...)
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  37. Sharon R. Ford (2012). The Categorical-Dispositional Distinction. In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge.
    This paper largely engages with Brian Ellis’s description of categorical dimensions as put forward in his paper in this volume. The New Essentialism advocated by Ellis posits the ontologically-robust existence of both dispositional and categorical properties. I have argued that the distinction that Ellis draws between the two is unpersuasive, and that the causal role of categorical dimensions—what they do—is inseparable from what they are. This observation is reinforced by the fact that absolute physical quantities permit re-interpretations of measurement that (...)
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  38. Sharon R. Ford (2010). What Fundamental Properties Suffice to Account for the Manifest World? Powerful Structure. Dissertation, University of Queensland
    This Thesis engages with contemporary philosophical controversies about the nature of dispositional properties or powers and the relationship they have to their non-dispositional counterparts. The focus concerns fundamentality. In particular, I seek to answer the question, ‘What fundamental properties suffice to account for the manifest world?’ The answer I defend is that fundamental categorical properties need not be invoked in order to derive a viable explanation for the manifest world. My stance is a field-theoretic view which describes the world as (...)
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  39. Sharon R. Ford (2007). An Analysis of Properties in John Heil’s "From an Ontological Point of View&Quot;. In G. Romano & Malatesti (eds.), From an Ontological Point of View, SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review, Symposium. SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review.
    In this paper I argue that the requirement for the qualitative is theory-dependent, determined by the fundamental assumptions built into the ontology. John Heil’s qualitative, in its role as individuator of objects and powers, is required only by a theory that posits a world of distinct objects or powers. Does Heil’s ‘deep’ view of the world, such that there is only one powerful object (e.g. a field containing modes or properties which we perceive as manifest everyday objects) require the qualitative (...)
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  40. James Franklin (1986). Are Dispositions Reducible to Categorical Properties? Philosophical Quarterly 36 (142):62-64.
    Dispostions, such as solubility, cannont be reduced to categorical properties, such as molecular structure, without some element of dipositionaity remaining. Democritus did not reduce all properties to the geometry of atoms - he had to retain the rigidity of the atoms, that is, their disposition not to change shape when a force is applied. So dispositions-not-to, like rigidity, cannot be eliminated. Neither can dispositions-to, like solubility.
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  41. Philippe Gagnon (2012). Remarques Sur le Projet Essentialiste de Brian Ellis En Philosophie de la Nature. Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 43 (March):61-94.
  42. Sophie C. Gibb (2014). The Causal Criterion of Property Identity and the Subtraction of Powers. Erkenntnis 79 (1):127-146.
    According to one popular criterion of property identity, where X and Y are properties, X is identical with Y if and only if X and Y bestow the same conditional powers on their bearers. In this paper, I argue that this causal criterion of property identity is unsatisfactory, because it fails to provide a sufficient condition for the identification of properties. My argument for this claim is based on the observation that the summing of properties does not entail the summing (...)
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  43. Michael Gorman (2004). Categories and Normativity. In Sanford Gorman (ed.), Categories. The Catholic University of America Press.
    Anyone who tries to understand categories soon runs into the problem of giving an account of the unity of a category. Call this the “unity problem.” In this essay, I describe a distinctive and under-studied version of the unity problem and discuss how it might be solved. First, I describe various versions of the unity problem. Second, I focus on one version and argue that it is best dealt with by thinking of at least some categories as “norm-constituted,” in a (...)
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  44. Toby Handfield (ed.) (2009). Dispositions and Causes. Clarendon Press.
    In recent decades, the analysis of causal relations has become a topic of central importance in analytic philosophy. More recently, dispositional properties have also become objects of intense study. Both of these phenomena appear to be intimately related to counterfactual conditionals and other modal phenomena such as objective chance, but little work has been done to directly relate them. This collection contains ten essays by scholars working in both metaphysics and in philosophy of science, examining the relation between dispositional and (...)
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  45. Toby Handfield (2005). Armstrong and the Modal Inversion of Dispositions. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (220):452–461.
    D. M. Armstrong has objected that the Dispositionalist theory of laws and properties is modally inverted, for it entails that properties are constituted by relations to non-actual possibilia. I contend that, if this objection succeeds against Dispositionalism, then Armstrong's nomic necessitation relation is also modally inverted. This shows that at least one of Armstrong's reasons for preferring a nomic necessitation theory is specious.
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  46. Toby Handfield & Alexander Bird (2008). Dispositions, Rules, and Finks. Philosophical Studies 140 (2):285 - 298.
    This paper discusses the prospects of a dispositional solution to the Kripke–Wittgenstein rule-following puzzle. Recent attempts to employ dispositional approaches to this puzzle have appealed to the ideas of finks and antidotes—interfering dispositions and conditions—to explain why the rule-following disposition is not always manifested. We argue that this approach fails: agents cannot be supposed to have straightforward dispositions to follow a rule which are in some fashion masked by other, contrary dispositions of the agent, because in all cases, at least (...)
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  47. Tobias Hansson (2006). Too Many Dispositional Properties. SATS 7 (2):37-42.
    This paper identifies an overdetermination problem faced by the non-reductive dispositional property account of disposition ascriptions. Two possible responses to the problem are evaluated and both are shown to have serious drawbacks. Finally it is noted that the traditional conditional analysis of dispositional ascriptions escapes the original difficulty.
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  48. J. Hastings, L. Jansen, Stefan Schulz & C. Steinbeck (2011). Substance Concentrations as Conditions for the Realization of Dispositions. In Ronald Cornet & Stefan Schulz (eds.), Semantic Applications in Life Sciences. Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Formal Biomedical Knowledge Representation, hosted by Bio-Ontologies 2010.
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  49. John Hawthorne & David Manley (2005). Stephen Mumford. Dispositions. . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. 261 Pp. [REVIEW] Noûs 39 (1):179–195.
    In Mumford’s Dispositions, the reader will find an extended treatment of the recent debate about dispositions from Ryle and Geach to the present. Along the way, Mumford presents his own views on several key points, though we found the book much more thorough in its assessment of opposing views than in the development of a positive account. As we’ll try to make clear, some of the ideas endorsed in Dispositions are certainly worth pursuing; others are not. Following Mackie, Shoemaker, and (...)
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  50. John Hawthorne & David Manley (2005). Review of Stephen Mumford's Dispositions. [REVIEW] Noûs 39:179-95.
    In Mumford’s Dispositions, the reader will find an extended treatment of the recent debate about dispositions from Ryle and Geach to the present. Along the way, Mumford presents his own views on several key points, though we found the book much more thorough in its assessment of opposing views than in the development of a positive account. As we’ll try to make clear, some of the ideas endorsed in Dispositions are certainly worth pursuing; others are not. Following Mackie, Shoemaker, and (...)
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