David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Metaphysica 14 (1):31-46 (2013)
Laws of nature concern the natural properties of things. Newton’s law of gravity states that the gravitational force between objects is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance; Coulomb’s law states a similar functional dependency between charged particles. Each of these properties confers a power to act as specified by the function of the laws. Consequently, properties of the same quantity confer resembling powers. Any theory that takes powers seriously must account for their resemblance. This is the challenge set by the paper. The first part is devoted to Armstrong’s view according to which property resemblance reduces to partial identities between categorical properties. I argue that Armstrong’s solution to the challenge involves accepting determinable properties but that these should not be admitted. In the second part, I argue that dispositional essentialism can satisfactorily account for orderings among powers in terms of degrees of overlapping potentialities
|Keywords||Resemblance Categoricalism Dispositionalism Laws of nature Powers|
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References found in this work BETA
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
Alexander Bird (2007). Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. Oxford University Press.
E. J. Lowe (2006). The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science. Oxford University Press.
Jaegwon Kim (1993). Supervenience and Mind. Cambridge University Press.
George Molnar (2003). Powers: A Study in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
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