David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128 (2013)
Dispositional essentialists argue that physical properties have their causal roles essentially. This is typically taken to mean that physical properties are identical to dispositions. I argue that this is untenable, and that we must instead say that properties bestow dispositions. I explore what it is for a property to have such a role essentially. Dispositional essentialists argue for their view by citing certain epistemological and metaphysical implications, and I appeal to these implications to place desiderata on the concept of essence involved. I argue that the traditional modal theory of essence meets these desiderata, but that the resulting theory wrongly implies that certain dispositions essential to mass are essential to charge, thereby offering a new argument against modal theories of essence. I argue that dispositional essentialism requires a primitive notion of essence, and develop a primitivist theory based on Kit Fine's views. I show that the primitivist theory has all the virtues of the modal alternative, and none of the vices. I develop a novel way of thinking about the relationship between properties, laws and dispositions, and argue that it has distinct advantages over standard dispositional essentialist formulations.
|Keywords||Dispositional essentialism Essence Modality Truthmaking Laws|
|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 (2007). Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. Oxford University Press.
Robert Nozick (1981). Philosophical Explanations. Harvard University Press.
B. D. Ellis (2001). Scientific Essentialism. Cambridge University Press.
David K. Lewis (1986/2001). On the Plurality of Worlds. Blackwell Publishers.
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
Citations of this work BETA
Peter Fazekas (2014). Pursuing Natural Piety: Understanding Ontological Emergence and Distinguishing It From Physicalism. Dialectica 68 (1):97-119.
Similar books and articles
Robin Findlay Hendry & Darrell P. Rowbottom (2009). Dispositional Essentialism and the Necessity of Laws. Analysis 69 (4):668-677.
Antony Eagle (2009). Causal Structuralism, Dispositional Actualism, and Counterfactual Conditionals. In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press 65--99.
Alexander Bird (2005). Laws and Essences. Ratio 18 (4):437–461.
Richard Corry (2011). Can Dispositional Essences Ground the Laws of Nature? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):263 - 275.
Alexander Bird (2003). Structural Properties. In Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra & Hallvard Lillehammer (eds.), Real Metaphysics. Routledge 155-68.
Vassilios Livanios (2010). Symmetries, Dispositions and Essences. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):295 - 305.
Tomasz Bigaj (2010). Dispositional Monism and the Circularity Objection. Metaphysica 11 (1):39-47.
Peter Menzies (forthcoming). Critical Notice of Alexander Bird, Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. Analysis.
Tyler Hildebrand (2014). Can Bare Dispositions Explain Categorical Regularities? Philosophical Studies 167 (3):569-584.
Toby Handfield (2001). Dispositional Essentialism and the Possibility of a Law-Abiding Miracle. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (205):484-494.
Andreas Hüttemann (2009). Dispositions in Physics. In Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf & Karsten Stueber (eds.), Debating Dispositions. De Gruyter
Markus Schrenk (2010). Antidotes for Dispositional Essentialism. In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge
Alexander Bird (2009). Essences and Natural Kinds. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge 497--506.
Alice Drewery (2001). Dispositions and Ceteris Paribus Laws. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):723-733.
Added to index2011-10-26
Total downloads579 ( #1,211 of 1,790,294 )
Recent downloads (6 months)89 ( #6,495 of 1,790,294 )
How can I increase my downloads?