David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In History of Philosophy Quarterly. Routledge 337 - 352 (2010)
Do powers have powers? More urgently, do powers need further powers to do what powers do? Stathis Psillos says they do. He finds this a fatal flaw in the nature of pure powers: pure powers have a regressive nature. Their nature is incoherent to us, and they should not be admitted into the ontology. I argue that pure powers do not need further powers; rather, they do what they do because they are powers. I show that at the heart of Psillos’ regress is a metaphysical division he assumes between a pure power to φ and its directedness towards the manifestation of φ-ing, i.e. between a pure power and its essence. But such an ontological division between an entity and its essence has already been shown by Aristotle to be detrimental, condemning the entity to a regressive nature. I show that Psillos’ regress is but an instance of Aristotle’s regress argument on the relation between an entity and its essence. I compare Aristotle’s, Bradley’s, and Psillos’ regresses, showing that Bradley’s and Psillos’ (different) conclusions from the regress arguments lead to impasses. I then build on Aristotle’s directive against regressive natures, arguing with him that an entity is not other than its nature (being divided from its nature by a relation between them). Rather, an entity is an instantiated nature itself. The Aristotelian position I put forward explains how the oneness of the entity is achieved by its being an instance of a type. Thus, the regress is blocked, and the nature of pure powers is shown to pose no threats of an ontological or epistemological kind, if physics gave us reasons to posit pure powers.
|Keywords||powers, dispositions categorical base infinite regress|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rachel Cooper (2007). Are There Natural Kinds in Psychology? In Ruth Groff (ed.), Revitalizing Causality: Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Science. Routledge
Jonathan D. Jacobs (2011). Powerful Qualities, Not Pure Powers. The Monist 94 (1):81-102.
John Russon (2006). The Elements of Everyday Life. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 13 (2):84-90.
Stathis Psillos (2006). What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):137-156.
Alexander Bird (2007). The Regress of Pure Powers? Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):513–534.
Charlotte Witt (2008). Aristotelian Powers. In Ruth Groff (ed.), Revitalizing Causality: Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Science. Routledge
Toby Handfield (2008). Humean Dispositionalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):113-126.
Added to index2010-05-19
Total downloads35 ( #118,953 of 1,911,649 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #180,081 of 1,911,649 )
How can I increase my downloads?