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On what powers cannot do

Dialectica 59 (3):331–345 (2005)
Dispositionalism is the view that the world is, ultimately, just a world of objects and their irreducible dispositions, and that such dispositions are, ultimately, the sole explanatory ground for the occurrence of events. This view is motivated, partly, by arguing that it affords, while non‐necessitarian views of laws of nature do not afford, an adequate account of our intuitions about which regularities are non‐accidental. I, however, argue that dispositionalism cannot adequately account for our intuitions about which regularities are non‐accidental. Further, I argue that, intuitions aside, if we suppose that our world contains objects along with their irreducible dispositions, we must suppose, on pain of logical incoherence, that it contains laws of nature that are incompatible with a dispositionalist ontology. Indeed, if we suppose a world of objects and irreducible dispositions, we will have to suppose that the most prominent views of laws of nature currently on offer are all inadequate
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Joel Katzav (2013). Dispositions, Causes, Persistence As Is, and General Relativity. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):41 - 57.
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