What is a disposition?

Synthese 144 (3):321-41 (2005)
Abstract
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 into circular but interesting accounts.
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    David Manley (2012). Dispositionality: Beyond The Biconditionals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):321 - 334.
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