Foundationalism is false; after all, foundational beliefs are arbitrary, they do not solve the epistemic regress problem, and they cannot exist withoutother (justified) beliefs. Or so some people say. In this essay, we assess some arguments based on such claims, arguments suggested in recent work by Peter Klein and Ernest Sosa.
Regress arguments have convinced many that reasoning cannot require beliefs about what follows from what. In this paper I argue that this is a mistake. Regress arguments rest on dubious (although deeply entrenched) assumptions about the nature of reasoning—most prominently, the assumption that believing p by reasoning is simply a matter of having a belief in p with the right causal ancestry. I propose an alternative account, according to which beliefs about what follows from what play a constitutive (...) role in reasoning. (shrink)
Infinite regress arguments play an important role in many distinct philosophical debates. Yet, exactly how they are to be used to demonstrate anything is a matter of serious controversy. In this paper I take up this metaphilosophical debate, and demonstrate how infinite regress arguments can be used for two different purposes: either they can refute a universally quantified proposition (as the Paradox Theory says), or they can demonstrate that a solution never solves a given problem (as the Failure (...) Theory says). In the meantime, I show that Black’s view on infinite regress arguments (1996, this journal) is incomplete, and how his criticism of Passmore can be countered. (shrink)
Proponents of the argument from regress maintain that the existence of Instrumental Value is sufficient to establish the existence of Intrinsic Value. It is argued that the chain of instrumentally valuable things has to end somewhere. Namely with intrinsic value. In this paper, I shall argue something a little more modest than this. I do not want to argue that the regress argument proves that there is intrinsic value but rather that it proves that the idea of intrinsic (...) value is a necessary part of our thinking about moral value. (shrink)
Dispositional monism is the view that natural properties and relations are ‘pure powers’. It is objected that dispositional monism involves some kind of vicious or otherwise unpalatable regress or circularity. I examine ways of making this objection precise. The most pressing interpretation is that is fails to make the identities of powers determinate. I demonstrate that this objection is in error. It does however puts certain constraints on what the structure of fundamental properties is like. I show what a (...) satisfactory structure would be. (shrink)
Is there a successful regress argument against intellectualism? In this article I defend the negative answer. I begin by defending Stanley and Williamson's (2001) critique of the contemplation regress against Noë (2005). I then identify a new argument – the employment regress – that is designed to succeed where the contemplation regress fails, and which I take to be the most basic and plausible form of a regress argument against intellectualism. However, I argue that the (...) employment regress still fails. Drawing on the previous discussion, I criticise further regress arguments given by Hetherington (2006) and Noë (2005). (shrink)
In his “Space, supervenience and substantivalism”, Le Poidevin proposes a substantivalism in which space is discrete, implying that there are unmediated spatial relations between neighboring primitive points. This proposition is motivated by his concern that relationism suffers from an explanatory lacuna and that substantivalism gives rise to a vicious regress. Le Poidevin implicitly requires that the relationist be committed to the “only x and y ” principle regarding spatial relations. It is not obvious that the relationist is committed to (...) this principle in such a context. An additional motivation for Le Poidevin's argument, that space should be considered to be discrete, is that he believes that substantivalists are committed to a vicious regress. I show that the regress is in fact not of the vicious variety. These two main arguments show that Le Poidevin's suggestion that we drop the density postulate for space is unnecessary. (shrink)
This dissertation is on infinite regress arguments in philosophy. Its main goals are to explain what such arguments from many distinct philosophical debates have in common, and to provide guidelines for using and evaluating them. Two theories are reviewed: the Paradox Theory and the Failure Theory. According to the Paradox Theory, infinite regress arguments can be used to refute an existentially or universally quantified statement (e.g. to refute the statement that at least one discussion is settled, or the (...) statement that discussions are settled only if there is an agreed-upon criterion to settle them). According to the Failure Theory, infinite regress arguments can be used to demonstrate that a certain solution fails to solve an existentially or universally quantified problem (e.g. to demonstrate that a certain solution fails to settle all discussions, or that it fails to settle even one discussion). In the literature, the Paradox Theory is fairly well-developed, and this dissertation provides the Failure Theory with the same tools. (shrink)
This paper is about the Problem of Order, which is basically the problem how to account for both the distinctness of facts like a’s preceding b and b’s preceding a, and the identity of facts like a’s preceding b and b’s succeeding a. It has been shown that the Standard View fails to account for the second part and is therefore to be replaced. One of the contenders is Anti-Positionalism. As has recently been pointed out, however, Anti-Positionalism falls prey to (...) a regress argument which is to prove its failure. In the paper we spell out this worry, show that the worry is a serious one, and distinguish four possible strategies for Anti-Positionalism to deal with it. (shrink)
If an argument can be reconstructed in at least two different ways, then which reconstruction is to be preferred? In this paper I address this problem of argument reconstruction in terms of Ryle’s infinite regress argument against the view that knowledge-how requires knowledge-that. First, I demonstrate that Ryle’s initial statement of the argument does not fix its reconstruction as it admits two, structurally different reconstructions. On the basis of this case and infinite regress arguments generally, I defend a (...) revisionary take on argument reconstruction: argument reconstruction is mainly to be ruled by charity (viz. by general criteria which arguments have to fulfil in order to be good arguments) rather than interpretation. (shrink)
The Language of Thought Hypothesis is often taken to have the fatal flaw that it generates an explanatory regress. The language of thought is invoked to explain certain features of natural language (e.g., that it is learned, understood, and is meaningful), but, according to the regress argument, the language of thought itself has these same features and hence no explanatory progress has been made. We argue that such arguments rely on the tacit assumption that the entire motivation for (...) the language of thought consists in explaining the explanandum that allegedly generates the regress. But this tacit assumption is simply false. The Language of Thought Hypothesis is a cogent view and one with considerable explanatory advantages. (shrink)
Abstract In the contemporary literature on self-knowledge discussion is framed by and large by two competing models of self-knowledge: the observational (or perceptual) model and the constitutive model. On the observational model self-knowledge is the result of ?cognitively viewing? one's mental states. Constitutive theories of self-knowledge, on the other hand, hold that self-knowledge is constitutive of intentional states. That is, self-ascription is a necessary condition for being in a particular mental state. Akeel Bilgrami is a defender of the constitutive model. (...) I argue that the constitutive model gives rise to a regress problem. This paper will focus on that problem as well as its application to Bilgrami's version of the constitutive model. (shrink)
Resemblance Nominalism is the view that denies universals and tropes and claims that what makes F-things F is their resemblances. A famous argument against Resemblance Nominalism is Russell's regress of resemblances, according to which the resemblance nominalist falls into a vicious infinite regress. Aristocratic Resemblance Nominalism, as opposed to Egalitarian Resemblance Nominalism, is the version of Resemblance Nominalism that claims that what makes F-things F is that they resemble the F-paradigms. In this paper I attempt to show that (...) a recently advocated strategy to stop Russell's regress by using paradigms does not succeed. (shrink)
In his topical article, Andrew Cling claims that the best extant formulation of the so-called epistemic regress problem rests on five assumptions that are too strong. Cling offers an improved version that rests on a different set of three core epistemic assumptions, each of which he argues for. Despite of owing a great deal to Cling’s ideas, I argue that the epistemic regress problem surfaces from more fundamental assumptions than those offered by Cling. There are ultimately two core (...) assumptions—in fact two contradictory strands within the concept of epistemic support—which jointly create a powerful challenge for our pursuit of paramount epistemic values. (shrink)
This chapter has two goals: to motivate the foundationalist solution to the regress problem and to defend it against arguments from Sellars, BonJour and Klein. Both the motivation and the defence of foundationalism raise larger questions about the relationship between foundationalism and access internalism. I argue that foundationalism is not in conflict with access internalism, despite influential arguments to the contrary, and that access internalism in fact supplies a theoretical motivation for foundationalism. I conclude that foundationalism and access internalism (...) form a coherent and well-motivated package. (shrink)
Bertrand Russell argued that any attempt to get rid of universals in favor of resemblances fails. He argued that no resemblance theory could avoid postulating a universal of resemblance without falling prey to a vicious infinite regress. He added that admitting such a universal of resemblance made it pointless to avoid other universals. In this paper I defend resemblance nominalism from both of Russell's points by arguing that (a) resemblance nominalism can avoid the postulation of a universal of resemblance (...) without falling into a vicious infinite regress, and (b) even if resemblance nominalism had to admit a universal of resemblance, this would not make it pointless to avoid postulating other universals. (shrink)
Different interpretations of Bradley’s regress argument are considered. On the basis of textual evidences, it is argued that the most persuasive is the one that sees the argument as primarily addressing the general issue of unity or connectedness.
According to the "experimenter's regress", disputes about the validity of experimental results cannot be closed by objective facts because no conclusive criteria other than the outcome of the experiment itself exist for deciding whether the experimental apparatus was functioning properly or not. Given the frequent characterization of simulations as "computer experiments", one might worry that an analogous regress arises for computer simulations. The present paper analyzes the most likely scenarios where one might expect such a "simulationist's regress" (...) to surface, and, in doing so, discusses analogies and disanalogies between simulation and experimentation. I conclude that, on a properly broadened understanding of robustness, the practice of simulating mathematical models can be seen to have sufficient internal structure to avoid any special susceptibility to regress-like situations. (shrink)
The Regress Argument is supposed to show that the language of thought hypothesis results in an infinite regress in its explanation of such things as learning, meaning, and understanding. Earlier (in Laurence & Margolis 1997) we argued that the Regress Argument doesn’t work and that even the language of thought’s supporters have given the Regress Argument far too much credit. In this paper, we respond to a critique of our earlier discussion.
The article argues that theorists who try to justify 'ought'-claims, i.e., who try to show that a standard of behavior has normative authority, will run into a regress problem. The problem is similar in structure to the familiar regress in the justification of belief. The point of the paper is not skeptical. Rather, the aim is to help theorists better understand the challenges associated with formulating a theory of normative authority.
In the literature, regress arguments often take one of two different forms: either they conclude that a given solution fails to solve any problem of a certain kind (the strong conclusion), or they conclude that a given solution fails to solve all problems of a certain kind (the weaker conclusion). This gives rise to a logical problem: do regresses entail the strong or the weaker conclusion, or none? In this paper I demonstrate that regress arguments can in fact (...) take both forms, and clearly set out the logical difference between them. Throughout the paper, I confine myself to metaphysical examples from the early Russell. Only now that we know they are valid can we start to discuss whether they are sound. (shrink)
Plausibly, no agent ever performs an action without some desire to perform that action. If so, a regress argument shows that, given incompatibilism, we are only rarely free. The argument sidesteps recent objections to this thesis.
I propose a counterfactual theory of infinite regress arguments. Most theories of infinite regress arguments present infinite regresses in terms of indicative conditionals. These theories direct us to seek conditions under which an infinite regress generates an infinite inadmissible set. Since in ordinary language infinite regresses are usually expressed by means of infinite sequences of counterfactuals, it is natural to expect that an analysis of infinite regress arguments should be based on a theory of counterfactuals. The (...) Stalnaker–Lewis theory of counterfactuals, augmented with some fundamental notions from metric-spaces, provides a basis for such an analysis of infinite regress arguments. Since the technique involved in the analysis is easily adaptable to various analyses, it facilitates a rigorous comparison among conflicting philosophical analyses of any given infinite regress. (shrink)
InMetaphysics Γ, Ch. 4, Aristotle speaks of both infinite regress and question-begging, but does not explicitly relate them. We get the impression that he thinks that to use one of these arguments to avoid the other is to jump from the frying-pan into the fire. This relationship is illustrated in terms of the ignorant belief that everything can be proved, and of attempts to prove the Law of Noncontradiction.
I describe the general structure of most infinite regress arguments; introduce some basic vocabulary; present a working hypothesis of the nature and derivation of an infinite regress; apply this working hypothesis to various infinite regress arguments to explain why they fail to entail an infinite regress; describe a common mistake in attempting to derive certain infinite regresses; and examine how infinite regresses function as a premise.
Plausibly, no agent ever performs an action without some desire to perform that action. If so, a regress argument shows that, given incompatibilism, we are only rarely free. The argument sidesteps recent objections to this thesis.
In the first part of this paper, I will sketch the main features of traditional models of evidence, indicating idealizations in such models that I regard as doing more harm than good. I will then proceed to elaborate on an alternative model of evidence that is functionalist, complex, dynamic, and contextual, which I will call DYNAMIC EVIDENTIAL FUNCTIONALISM. I will demonstrate its application to an illuminating example of scientific inquiry, and defend it from some likely objections. In the second part, (...) I will use that alternative to solve a variety of classic and contemporary problems in the literature on scientific evidence having to do with the empirical basis of science and the use of evidence in public policy. (shrink)
This paper is a discussion of an intuition commonly held by metaphysicians: that there must be a fundamental layer of reality; that chains of ontological dependence must terminate; that there cannot be turtles all the way down. I discuss application of this intuition with reference to Bradley’s regress, composition, realism about the mental and the cosmological argument. I discuss some arguments for the intuition, but argue that they are unconvincing. I conclude by making some suggestions for how the intuition (...) should be argued for, and discussing the ramifications of giving the justification I think best. (shrink)
I address an intuition commonly endorsed by metaphysicians, that there must be a fundamental layer of reality, i.e., that chains of ontological dependence must terminate: there cannot be turtles all the way down. I discuss applications of this intuition with reference to Bradley’s regress, composition, realism about the mental and the cosmological argument. I discuss some arguments for the intui- tion, but argue that they are unconvincing. I conclude by making some suggestions for how the intuition should be argued (...) for, and discussing the ramiﬁcations of giving the justiﬁcation I think best. (shrink)
Trope theory is the view that the world is a world of abstract particular qualities. But if all there is are tropes, how do we account for the truth of propositions ostensibly made true by some concrete particular? A common answer is that concrete particulars are nothing but tropes in compresence. This answer seems vulnerable to an argument (first presented by F. H. Bradley) according to which any attempt to account for the nature of relations will end up either in (...) contradiction, nonsense, or will lead to a vicious infinite regress. I investigate Bradley’s argument and claim that it fails to prove what it sets out to. It fails, I argue, because it does not take all the different ways in which relation and relata may depend on one another into account. If relations are entities that are distinct from yet essentially dependent upon their relata, the Bradleyan problem is solved. We are then free to say that tropes in compresence are what make true propositions ostensibly made true by concrete particulars. (shrink)
The best extant statement of the epistemic regress problem makes assumptions that are too strong. An improved version assumes only that that reasons require support, that no proposition is supported only by endless regresses of reasons, and that some proposition is supported. These assumptions are individually plausible but jointly inconsistent. Attempts to explain support by means of unconceptualized sensations, contextually immunized propositions, endless regresses, and holistic coherence all require either additional reasons or an external condition on support that is (...) arbitrary from the believer’s own point of view. (shrink)
This paper critically evaluates the regress argument for infinitism. The dialectic is essentially this. Peter Klein argues that only an infinitist can, without being dogmatic, enhance the credibility of a questioned non-evident proposition. In response, I demonstrate that a foundationalist can do this equally well. Furthermore, I explain how foundationalism can provide for infinite chains of justification. I conclude that the regress argument for infinitism should not convince us.
If we make the basic assumption that the components of a proposition have reference on the model of proper name and bearer, we face the problem of distinguishing the proposition from a mere list' of names. We neutralize the problem posed by that assumption of we first of all follow Wiggins and distinguish, in every predicate, a strictly predicative element (the copula), and a strictly non-predicative conceptual component (available to be quantified over). If we further allow the copula itself to (...) conform to the basic assumption, a regress ( Bradley's regress') arises: the referent of the copula will be instantiation, the instantiation of instantiation etc. To avert the regress, Wiggins simply legislates that the basic assumption is to fail for the copula. But we are entitled to regard the regress as constitution not a difficulty, but the solution: the infinitism it imports (capturable in a finitistic theory of meaning) is just what the unity of the proposition "is". (edited). (shrink)
On an internalist account of logical inference, we are warranted in drawing conclusions from accepted premises on the basis of our knowledge of logical laws. Lewis Carroll’s regress challenges internalism by purporting to show that this kind of warrant cannot ground the move from premises to conclusion. Carroll’s regress vindicates a repudiation of internalism and leads to the espousal of a standpoint that regards our inferential practice as not being grounded on our knowledge of logical laws. Such a (...) standpoint can take two forms. One can adopt either a broadly externalist model of inference or a sceptical stance. I will attempt, in what follows, to defend a version of internalism which is not affected by the regress. The main strategy will be to show that externalism and scepticism are not satisfying standpoints to adopt with regard to our inferential practice, and then to suggest an internalist alternative. (shrink)
I provide a construal of the epistemic regress problem and I take issue with the contention that a foundationalist solution is incompatible with an internalist account of warrant. I sketch a foundationalist solution to the regress problem that respects a plausible version of internalism. I end with the suggestion that the strategy that I have presented is not available only to the traditional versions of foundationalism that ascribe foundational status to experiential beliefs. It can also be used to (...) generate a version of internalist foundationalism based on reliabilist principles. (shrink)
Important sceptical arguments by Sextus Empiricus, Hume and Boghossian (concerning disputes, induction, and relativism respectively) are based on circularities and infinite regresses. Yet, philosophers' practice does not keep circularities and infinite regresses clearly apart. In this metaphilosophical paper I show how circularity and infinite regress arguments can be made explicit, and shed light on two powerful tools of the sceptic.
I argue that Cartesian skepticism about the external world leads to a vicious regress of skeptical attitudes, the only principled and unproblematic response to which requires refraining from taking the very first skeptical step.
A version of Bradley's regress can be endorsed in an effort to address the problem of the unity of states of affairs or facts, thereby arriving at a doctrine that I have called fact infinitism . A consequence of it is the denial of the thesis, WF, that all chains of ontological dependence are well-founded or grounded. Cameron has recently rejected fact infinitism by arguing that WF, albeit not necessarily true, is however contingently true. Here fact infinitism is supported (...) by showing that Cameron's argument for the contingent truth of WF is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Infinite regress arguments are used by philosophers as methods of refutation. A hypothesis is defective if it generates an infinite series when either such a series does not exist or its supposed existence would not serve the explanatory purpose for which it was postulated.
It is often claimed that Realism about universals is problematic because it cannot account for the relation between particulars and universals without falling prey to ,,Bradley's regress". In this article, I consider four different versions of this regress argument (the semantic regress, the explanatory regress, the ,One over Many' regress, and the truthmaker regress), each based on a different ,regress-generating' assumption. I argue that none of these arguments succeeds in refuting Realism. Still, I (...) contend that two interesting conclusions can be drawn from the discussion. First, ,Bradleyan' regress problems show that some arguments for Realism have to be abolished because they involve ,regress-generating' assumptions. Second, these problems suggest that Realists about universals should opt for a nominalistic treatment of the ,exempflification relation'. As it turns out, this account of exemplification has the further advantage of being more in line with a science-oriented metaphysics than all the traditional alternatives. German Es wird oft behauptet, dass der Universalienrealismus problematisch ist, weil er die Beziehung zwischen Partikularen (Einzeldingen) und Universalien nicht erklären kann, ohne ,,Bradleys Regress zum Opfer zu fallen. In diesem Artikel betrachte ich vier verschiedene Versionen des Regresses (den semantischen Regress, den explanatorischen Regress, den ,,One over Many-Regress und den Wahrmacher-Regress), die alle von unterschiedlichen ,,regress-generie-renden Voraussetzungen ausgehen. Ich argumentiere dafür, dass keines dieser Regressargumente den Universalienrealismus widerlegt. Dennoch, so behaupte ich, können aus der Diskussion zwei interessante Schlussfolgerungen gezogen werden: Erstens zeigen ,Bradleysche' Regressproblem, dass einige Argumente für den Universalienrealismus aufgegeben werden müssen, weil sie sich auf ,,regress-generierende Voraussetzungen stützen; zweitens legen diese Probleme nahe, dass sich der Universalienrealist bei der Behandlung der ,,Exemplifikationsrelation für eine nominalistische Strategie entscheiden sollte. Wie sich herausstellt, hat diese Analyse von Exemplifikation zudem den Vorteil, besser zu einer wissenschaftsorientierten Metaphysik zu passen als die traditionellen Alternativen. (shrink)
Andrew Cling presents a new version of the epistemic regress problem, and argues that intuitionist foundationalism, social contextualism, holistic coherentism, and infinitism fail to solve it. Cling’s discussion is quite instructive, and deserving of careful consideration. But, I argue, Cling’s discussion is not in all respects decisive. I argue that Cling’s dilemma argument against holistic coherentism fails.
In this paper I assess the two central ingredients of Laurence BonJour’s position on empirical knowledge that have survived the transition from his earlier coherentist views to his current endorsement of the doctrine of the given: his construal of the problem of the epistemic regress and his rejection of an internalist solution to the problem. The bulk of the paper is devoted to a critical assessment of BonJour’s arguments against externalism. I argue that they fail to put real pressure (...) on externalism, as they rely on a highly questionable conception of epistemic rationality and responsibility. Then, more briefly, I take issue with BonJour’s endorsement of the irrelevance thesis—the claim that even if externalism were true it would not offer a satisfactory solution to the epistemic regress problem. I contend that he is not entitled to subscribe this thesis unless he is prepared to abandon his construal of the problem. (shrink)
§1. Here is a familiar regress argument: Take the fact that Ed runs. What is the nature of this fact? If we think ‘runs’ stands for a property, the property of running (call it Running), then, arguably, Ed and this property are constituents of this fact. But the fact cannot simply consist of Ed and Running. For Ed can exist and Running can exist even if Ed doesn’t run. For it to be a fact that Ed runs, Ed must (...) instantiate Running. But adding the talk of instantiation just gets us another constituent of the fact: the relation of instantiation, call it Inst. But Ed can exist, Running can exist, and the relation Inst can exist even if Ed doesn’t run. Trying the same strategy as before we can say that Ed, Running and Inst must stand in the right relation for it to be a fact that Ed runs. But it should be clear that we are off on a vicious regress. As stated, the regress concerns facts, and I will keep referring to as the fact regress. But it is not obvious, at least, that we need to reify facts to get the regress going. All we need is a notion of something’s being the case, and the legitimacy of asking how, or in virtue of what, something is the case: Suppose it is the case that Ed runs. In virtue of what is it so? The existence of Ed and Running are not sufficient for it to be the case that Ed runs. For it to be the case that Ed runs, Ed must instantiate Running. But the existence of Ed, Running, and Inst is not sufficient for it to be the case that Ed runs. Etc. The regress argument given is sometimes called Bradley’s regress. But both because Bradley interpretation is controversial and because there are many different regress arguments bearing family resemblances to each other, I will by and large avoid that label. I think that the regress displayed by this argument brought up clearly is vicious, so some way of blocking the argument must be found. At no stage of the reasoning do we actually find ourselves in a position to say that a fact exists – or that something is the case – but we just add more and more entities, to no avail. Sometimes it is insisted that the regresses established by arguments like the one I have presented are not vicious.. (shrink)
In Metaepistemology and Skepticism (Rowman & Littlefield:\n1995), Richard Fumerton defends foundationalism. As part of\nthe defense he rejects infinitism--the view that holds that\nthe solution to the problem of the regress of justificatory\nreasons is that the reasons are infinitely many and\nnonrepeating. I examine some of those arguments and attempt\nto show that they are not really telling against (at least\nsome versions of) infinitism. Along the way I present some\nobjections to his account of inferential justification.
The aim of this paper is to examine the medieval posterity of the Aristotelian and Pyrrhonian treatments of the infinite regress argument. We show that there are some possible Pyrrhonian elements in Autrecourt's epistemology when he argues that the truth of our principles is merely hypothetical. By contrast, Buridan's criticisms of Autrecourt rely heavily on Aristotelian material. Both exemplify a use of scepticism.
Dialectical egalitarianism holds that every asserted proposition requires defence when challenged by an interlocutor. This view apparently generates a vicious 'regress of justifications', since an interlocutor can challenge the premises through which a speaker defends her original assertion, and so on ad infinitum . To halt the regress, dialectical foundationalists such as Adler, Brandom, Leite, and Williams propose that some propositions require no defence in the light of mere requests for justification. I argue that the putative regress (...) is not worrisome and that egalitarianism can handle it quite satisfactorily. I also defend a positive view that combines an anti-foundationalist conception of dialectical interaction with a foundationalist conception of epistemic justification. (shrink)
The paper aims to elucidate in better detail than before the dispute about whether or not dispositional monism—the view that all basic properties are pure powers—entails a vicious infinite regress. Particular focus is on Alexander Bird's and George Molnar's attempts to show that the arguments professing to demonstrate a vicious regress are inconclusive because they presuppose what they aim to prove, notably that powers are for their nature dependent on something else. I argue that Bird and Molnar are (...) mistaken. It is true that dispositional monism is popularly assumed to characterize powers as dependent entities, but this is not what the arguments aim to prove. They merely aim to demonstrate that it would be absurd to assume that all properties are dependent in this way. Finally, it is argued that there is an unresolved tension in Bird's and Molnar's accounts of powers. They characterize them as being for their nature dependent on the manifestations that they are for, and yet ontologically independent of those same manifestations. Until that tension is resolved, their accounts are not equipped to remove the threat of vicious regress. (shrink)