David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):71 - 90 (2011)
Central to the debate between Humean and anti-Humean metaphysics is the question of whether dispositions can exist in the absence of categorical properties that ground them (that is, where the causal burden is shifted on to categorical properties on which the dispositions would therefore supervene). Dispositional essentialists claim that they can; categoricalists reject the possibility of such ?baseless? dispositions, requiring that all dispositions must ultimately have categorical bases. One popular argument, recently dubbed the ?Argument from Science?, has appeared in one or another form over much of the last century and purports to win the day for the dispositional essentialist. Taking its cue from physical theory, the Argument from Science treats the exclusively dispositional characterizations of the fundamental particles one finds in physical theory as providing a key premise in what has been called a ?decisive? argument for baseless dispositions. Despite sharing the intuition that dispositions can be baseless, I argue that the force and significance of the Argument from Science have been greatly overestimated: no version of the argument is close to decisive, and only one version succeeds in scoring points against the categoricalist. Not only is physical theory more ontologically innocent than defenders of baseless dispositions seem to appreciate, most versions of the Argument from Science neglect important ways that dispositions could be grounded by categorical properties
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Alexander Bird (2005). Laws and Essences. Ratio 18 (4):437–461.
B. D. Ellis (2001). Scientific Essentialism. Cambridge University Press.
Brian Ellis & Caroline Lierse (1994). Dispositional Essentialism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):27 – 45.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tomasz Bigaj (2012). Ungrounded Dispositions in Quantum Mechanics. Foundations of Science 17 (3):205-221.
Andreas Hüttemann (2009). Dispositions in Physics. In Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf & Karsten Stueber (eds.), Debating Dispositions. De Gruyter.
David Yates (2013). The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
Neil Edward Williams (2009). The Ungrounded Argument is Unfounded: A Response to Mumford. Synthese 170 (1):7 - 19.
Toby Handfield (2008). Unfinkable Dispositions. Synthese 160 (2):297 - 308.
Toby Handfield (2009). The Metaphysics of Dispositions and Causes. In , Dispositions and Causes. Clarendon Press. 1--30.
Edward Wilson Averill (1990). Are Physical Properties Dispositions? Philosophy of Science 57 (1):118-132.
William A. Bauer (2010). The Ontology of Pure Dispositions. Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Andreas Hüttemann (2007). Causation, Laws and Dispositions. In Max Kistler & Bruno Gnassounou (eds.), Dispositions and Causal Powers. Ashgate.
Added to index2010-01-02
Total downloads75 ( #23,209 of 1,679,344 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #21,201 of 1,679,344 )
How can I increase my downloads?