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Profile: William A. Bauer (North Carolina State University)
  1. William A. Bauer (2013). Dispositional Essentialism and the Nature of Powerful Properties. Disputatio 5 (35).
    Dispositional essentialism maintains that all sparse properties are essentially powerful. Two conceptions of sparse properties appear compatible with dispositional essentialism: sparse properties as pure powers or as powerful qualities. This paper compares the two views, criticizes the powerful qualities view, and then develops a new theory of pure powers, termed Point Theory. This theory neutralizes the main advantage powerful qualities appear to possess over pure powers—explaining the existence of powers during latency periods. The paper discusses the relation between powers and (...)
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  2. William A. Bauer (2012). Four Theories of Pure Dispositions. In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge. 139-162.
    The dispositional properties encountered in everyday experience seem to have causal bases in other properties, e.g., the microstructure of a vase is the causal basis of its fragility. In contrast, the Pure Dispositions Thesis maintains that some dispositions require no causal basis. This thesis faces the Problem of Being: without a causal basis, there appears to be no grounds for the existence of pure dispositions. This paper establishes criteria for evaluating the problem, critically examines four theories of the being of (...)
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  3. William A. Bauer (2011). An Argument for the Extrinsic Grounding of Mass. Erkenntnis 74 (1):81-99.
    Several philosophers of science and metaphysicians claim that the dispositional properties of fundamental particles, such as the mass, charge, and spin of electrons, are ungrounded in any further properties. It is assumed by those making this argument that such properties are intrinsic, and thus if they are grounded at all they must be grounded intrinsically. However, this paper advances an argument, with one empirical premise and one metaphysical premise, for the claim that mass is extrinsically grounded and is thus an (...)
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  4. William A. Bauer (2010). The Ontology of Pure Dispositions. Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation defends and develops the thesis that some instances, or tokens, of dispositional properties are pure. A pure disposition has no causal basis in any further properties beyond the disposition. A causal basis typically consists of some set of properties underlying a disposition that enables the disposition to manifest when stimulated in the appropriate circumstances. For example, a vase is fragile because it is disposed to break when a hammer or other suitable object strikes it, where the causal basis (...)
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