David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 44 (4):725-739 (2010)
This paper concerns anti-Humean intuitions about connections in nature. It argues for the existence of a de re link that is not necessity.Some anti-Humeans tacitly assume that metaphysical necessity can be used for all sorts of anti-Humean desires. Metaphysical necessity is thought to stick together whatever would be loose and separate in a Hume world, as if it were a kind of universal superglue.I argue that this is not feasible. Metaphysical necessity might connect synchronically co-existent properties—kinds and their essential features, for example—but it is difficult to see how it could also serve as the binding force for successions of events. That is, metaphysical necessity seems not to be fit for diachronic, causal affairs in which causal laws, causation, or dispositions are involved. A different anti-Humean connection in nature has to do that job.My arguments focus mainly on a debate which has been the battleground for Humean vs. anti-Humean intuitions for many decades—namely, the analysis of dispositional predicates—yet I believe (but do not argue here) that the arguments generalise to causation and causal laws straightforwardly.
|Keywords||Laws of Nature Exceptions Interference Prevention Metaphysical Necessity|
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George Molnar (2003). Powers: A Study in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Jennifer Wang (2015). The Modal Limits of Dispositionalism. Noûs 49 (3):454-469.
Christopher J. Austin (forthcoming). Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution. Synthese:1-18.
Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2009). Double Prevention and Powers. Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):277-293.
Andreas Bartels (2013). Why Metrical Properties Are Not Powers. Synthese 190 (12):2001-2013.
Colin Marshall (2015). Hume Versus the Vulgar on Resistance, Nisus, and the Impression of Power. Philosophical Studies 172 (2):305-319.
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