Laws and essences

Ratio 18 (4):437–461 (2005)
Those who favour an ontology based on dispositions are thereby able to provide a dispositional essentialist account of the laws of nature. In part 1 of this paper I sketch the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and the concomitant account of laws. In part 2, I characterise various claims about the modal character of properties that fall under the heading ‘quidditism’ and which are consequences of the categoricalist view of properties, which is the alternative to the dispositional essentialist view. I argue that quidditism should be rejected. In part 3, I address a criticism of a strong dispositional essentialist view, viz. that ‘structural’ (i.e. geometrical, numerical, spatial and temporal) properties must be regarded as categorical.
Keywords laws, properties, dispositions, essences
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2005.00304.x
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References found in this work BETA
D. M. Armstrong (1993). A World of States of Affairs. Philosophical Perspectives 7 (3):429-440.

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Citations of this work BETA
Alexander Bird (2007). The Regress of Pure Powers? Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):513–534.

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