Dispositional essentialism and the necessity of laws

Analysis 69 (4):668-677 (2009)
We argue that the inference from dispositional essentialism about a property (in the broadest sense) to the metaphysical necessity of laws involving it is invalid. Let strict dispositional essentialism be any view according to which any given property’s dispositional character is precisely the same across all possible worlds. Clearly, any version of strict dispositional essentialism rules out worlds with different laws involving that property. Permissive dispositional essentialism is committed to a property’s identity being tied to its dispositional profile or causal role, yet is compatible with moderate interworld variation in a property’s dispositional profile. We provide such a model of dispositional essentialism about a property and metaphysical contingency of the laws involving it.
Keywords Dispositions  Laws  Necessity
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anp093
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References found in this work BETA
Robert Black (2000). Against Quidditism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (1):87 – 104.
Alexander Bird (2007). The Regress of Pure Powers? Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):513–534.

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Citations of this work BETA
David Yates (2013). The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
Robin Findlay Hendry (2010). Ontological Reduction and Molecular Structure. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (2):183-191.

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