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Dispositions: A Debate

Routledge (1996)

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  1. Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia.James Franklin - 2003 - Sydney, Australia: Macleay Press.
    A polemical account of Australian philosophy up to 2003, emphasising its unique aspects (such as commitment to realism) and the connections between philosophers' views and their lives. Topics include early idealism, the dominance of John Anderson in Sydney, the Orr case, Catholic scholasticism, Melbourne Wittgensteinianism, philosophy of science, the Sydney disturbances of the 1970s, Francofeminism, environmental philosophy, the philosophy of law and Mabo, ethics and Peter Singer. Realist theories especially praised are David Armstrong's on universals, David Stove's on logical probability (...)
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  • Varieties of dispositional essentialism about natural laws.Salim Hirèche - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-28.
    An important task for metaphysicians and philosophers of science is to account for laws of nature – in particular, how they distinguish themselves from ‘mere’ regularities, and the modal force they are endowed with, ‘natural necessity’. Dispositional essentialism about laws is roughly the view that laws distinguish themselves by being grounded in the essences of natural entities. This paper does not primarily concern how essentialism compares to its main rivals – Humeanism and Armstrongeanism. Rather, it distinguishes and comparatively assesses various (...)
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  • Agents’ Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
    In the book, I provide an account of what it is for an agent to have an ability. According to the Success View, abilities are all about success across possible situations. In developing and applying the view, the book elucidates the relation between abilities on the one hand and possibility, counterfactuals, and dispositions on the other; it sheds light on the distinction between general and specific abilities; it offers an understanding of degrees of abilities; it explains which role intentions and (...)
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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
     
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  • Do Extrinsic Dispositions Need Extrinsic Causal Bases?Gabriele Contessa - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):622-638.
    In this paper, I distinguish two often-conflated theses—the thesis that all dispositions are intrinsic properties and the thesis that the causal bases of all dispositions are intrinsic properties—and argue that the falsity of the former does not entail the falsity of the latter. In particular, I argue that extrinsic dispositions are a counterexample to first thesis but not necessarily to the second thesis, because an extrinsic disposition does not need to include any extrinsic property in its causal basis. I conclude (...)
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  • A Multiply Qualified Conditional Analysis of Disposition Ascription: Mapping the Conceptual Topography of Ceteris Paribus.Jesse R. Steinberg & Alan M. Steinberg - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):777-793.
    Given that an analysis of disposition ascription cannot be made in terms of a simple subjunctive conditional, we present a multiply qualified conditional analysis that places disposition ascription within an implicit fundamental causal conceptual typography within which a disposition ascription is embedded, framed, and understood. By placing the multiply qualified analysis within an implicit causal matrix involving a focal cause, pathway of influence, mechanism of action, contributing/partial cause, mediator, extrinsic moderator,, intrinsic moderator, and manifestation, we show how this analysis evades (...)
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  • Dispositions and Habituals.Michael Fara - 2005 - Noûs 39 (1):43–82.
    Objects have dispositions. As Nelson Goodman put it, “a thing is full of threats and promises”. But sometimes those threats go unfulfilled, and the promises unkept. Sometimes the dispositions of objects fail to manifest themselves, even when their conditions of manifestation obtain. Pieces of wood, disposed to burn when heated, do not burn when heated in a vacuum chamber. And pastries, disposed to go bad when left lying around too long, won’t do so if coated with lacquer and put on (...)
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  • Intrinsic Interferers and the Epistemology of Dispositions.Sungho Choi - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (1):199-232.
    It is held by some philosophers that it is possible that x has a disposition D but, if the stimulus condition obtains, it won’t manifest D because of an intrinsic interference. I will criticize this position on the ground that it has a deeply sceptical consequence, for instance, that, assuming that I am not well informed of the micro-properties of a metal coin, I do not know that it is not water-soluble. But I urge that this is beyond the pale, (...)
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  • In Defence of Powerful Qualities.John H. Taylor - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):93-107.
    The ontology of ‘powerful qualities’ is gaining an increasing amount of attention in the literature on properties. This is the view that the so-called categorical or qualitative properties are identical with ‘dispositional’ properties. The position is associated with C.B. Martin, John Heil, Galen Strawson and Jonathan Jacobs. Robert Schroer ( 2012 ) has recently mounted a number of criticisms against the powerful qualities view as conceived by these main adherents, and has also advanced his own (radically different) version of the (...)
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  • Absent Qualia and Categorical Properties.Brendan O’Sullivan - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):353-371.
    Qualia have proved difficult to integrate into a broadly physicalistic worldview. In this paper, I argue that despite popular wisdom in the philosophy of mind, qualia’s intrinsicality is not sufficient for their non-reducibility. Second, I diagnose why philosophers mistakenly focused on intrinsicality. I then proceed to argue that qualia are categorical and end with some reflections on how the conceptual territory looks when we keep our focus on categoricity.
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  • Colour and Consciousness: Untying the Metaphysical Knot.Pär Sundström - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (2):123 - 165.
    Colours and consciousness both present us with metaphysical problems. But what exactly are the problems? According to standard accounts, they are roughly the following. On the one hand, we have reason to believe, about both colour and consciousness, that they are identical with some familiar natural phenomena. But on the other hand, it is hard to see how these identities could obtain. I argue that this is an adequate characterisation of our metaphysical problem of colour, but a mischaracterisation of the (...)
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  • Noncausal Dispositions.Daniel Nolan - 2015 - Noûs 49 (3):425-439.
    A number of theories of dispositions to date have presupposed that dispositions are all causal: when X is disposed to PHI in circumstances C, it is because of a potential causal connection between C and X’s PHIing. Other intimate connections between dispositions and causation have been argued for: that the relation between dispositions and their categorical bases is to be understood in causal terms, for example, or even that we can explain causation in dispositional terms. These theories of dispositions are (...)
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  • Disposition Impossible.C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):732-753.
    Are there dispositions which not only do not manifest, but which could not manifest? We argue that there are dispositions to Ф in circumstances C where C is impossible, and some where Ф is impossible. Furthermore, postulating these dispositions does useful theoretical work. This paper describes a number of cases of dispositions had by objects even though those dispositions are not possibly manifest, and argues for the importance of these dispositions.
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  • What Are Chronic Diseases?Jonathan Fuller - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3197-3220.
    What kind of a thing are chronic diseases? Are they objects, bundles of signs and symptoms, properties, processes, or fictions? Rather than using concept analysis—the standard approach to disease in the philosophy of medicine—to answer this metaphysical question, I use a bottom-up, inductive approach. I argue that chronic diseases are bodily states or properties—often dispositional, but sometimes categorical. I also investigate the nature of related pathological entities: pathogenesis, etiology, and signs and symptoms. Finally, I defend my view against alternate accounts (...)
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  • The Modal Status of Materialism.Joseph Levine & Kelly Trogdon - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):351 - 362.
    Argument that Lewis and others are wrong that physicalism is if true then contingently true.
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  • Modal Property Comprehension.Ulrich Meyer - 2013 - Synthese 190 (4):693-707.
    To define new property terms, we combine already familiar ones by means of certain logical operations. Given suitable constraints, these operations may presumably include the resources of first-order logic: truth-functional sentence connectives and quantification over objects. What is far less clear is whether we can also use modal operators for this purpose. This paper clarifies what is involved in this question, and argues in favor of modal property definitions.
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  • Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts: Bringing Ontology and Philosophy of Mind Together.John Henry Taylor - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):1283-1297.
    Though physicalism remains the most popular position in the metaphysics of mind today, there is still considerable debate over how to retain a plausible account of mental concepts consistently with a physicalistic world view. Philip Goff (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89(2), 191–209, 2011) has recently argued that physicalism cannot give a plausible account of our phenomenal concepts, and that as such, physicalism should be rejected. In this paper I hope to do three things, firstly I shall use some considerations from (...)
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  • Can Bare Dispositions Explain Categorical Regularities?Tyler Hildebrand - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):569-584.
    One of the traditional desiderata for a metaphysical theory of laws of nature is that it be able to explain natural regularities. Some philosophers have postulated governing laws to fill this explanatory role. Recently, however, many have attempted to explain natural regularities without appealing to governing laws. Suppose that some fundamental properties are bare dispositions. In virtue of their dispositional nature, these properties must be (or are likely to be) distributed in regular patterns. Thus it would appear that an ontology (...)
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  • A Dispositional Theory of Possibility.Andrea Borghini & Neil E. Williams - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):21–41.
    – The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...)
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  • Dispositional Explanations of Behavior.Rob Vanderbeeken & Erik Weber - 2002 - Behavior and Philosophy 30:43 - 59.
    If dispositions are conceived as properties of systems that refer to possible causal relations, dispositions can be used in singular causal explanations. By means of these dispositional explanations, we can explain behavior B of a system x by (i) referring to a situation of type S that triggered B, given that x has a disposition D to do B in S, or (ii) by referring to a disposition D of x to do B in S, given that x is in (...)
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  • Panpsychism.William E. Seager - 2002 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    1 Non-reductive physicalists deny that there is any explanation of mentality in purely physical terms, but do not deny that the mental is entirely determined by and constituted out of underlying physical structures. There are important issues about the stability of such a view which teeters on the edge of explanatory reductionism on the one side and dualism on the other (see Kim 1998). 2 Save perhaps for eliminative materialism (see Churchland 1981 for a classic exposition). In fact, however, while.
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  • Laws and Essences.Alexander Bird - 2005 - Ratio 18 (4):437–461.
    Those who favour an ontology based on dispositions are thereby able to provide a dispositional essentialist account of the laws of nature. In part 1 of this paper I sketch the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and the concomitant account of laws. In part 2, I characterise various claims about the modal character of properties that fall under the heading ‘quidditism’ and which are consequences of the categoricalist view of properties, which is the alternative to the dispositional essentialist view. I (...)
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  • Dispositions and Ontology.Denny Bradshaw - 2003 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):169-182.
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  • What is a Law of Nature? The Broken-Symmetry Story.Yuri Balashov - 2002 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):459-473.
    I argue that the contemporary interplay of cosmology and particle physics in their joint effort to understand the processes at work during the first moments of the big bang has important implications for understanding the nature of lawhood. I focus on the phenomenon of spontaneous symmetry breaking responsible for generating the masses of certain particles. This phenomenon presents problems for the currently fashionable Dretske-Tooley-Armstrong theory and strongly favors a rival nomic ontology of causal powers.
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  • Humean Metaphysics.Joel Katzav - 2002 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):59-73.
  • The Regress of Pure Powers?Alexander Bird - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):513–534.
    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 (...)
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  • Dispositions.Sungho Choi - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Moral Particularism and Moral Generalism.Michael Ridge & Sean McKeever - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Dispositions.Michael Fara - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The glass vase on my desk is fragile. It should be handled with care because it it is likely to shatter or crack if it is knocked, dropped, or otherwise treated roughly. The vase has certain dispositions, for example the disposition to shatter when dropped. But what is this disposition? It seems on the one hand to be a perfectly real property, a genuine respect of similarity common to glass vases, china cups, ancient manuscripts, and anything else fragile. Yet on (...)
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  • Strong Necessitarianism: The Nomological Identity of Possible Worlds.Alexander Bird - 2004 - Ratio 17 (3):256–276.
    Dispositional essentialism, a plausible view about the natures of (sparse or natural) properties, yields a satisfying explanation of the nature of laws also. The resulting necessitarian conception of laws comes in a weaker version, which allows differences between possible worlds as regards which laws hold in those worlds and a stronger version that does not. The main aim of this paper is to articulate what is involved in accepting the stronger version, most especially the consequence that all possible properties exist (...)
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  • Graph-Theoretic Models of Dispositional Structures.Matthew Tugby - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):23-39.
    The focus of this article is the view about fundamental natural properties known as dispositional monism. This is a holistic view about nature, according to which all properties are essentially interrelated. The general question to be addressed concerns what kinds of features relational structures of properties should be thought to have. I use Bird's graph-theoretic framework for representing dispositional structures as a starting point, before arguing that it is inadequate in certain important respects. I then propose a more parsimonious graph-theoretic (...)
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  • Dispositional Pluralism.Jennifer McKitrick - 2009 - In Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 186-203.
    In this paper, I make the case for the view that there are many different kinds of dispositions, a view I call dispositional pluralism. The reason I think that this case needs to be made is to temper the tendency to make sweeping generalization about the nature of dispositions that go beyond conceptual truths. Examples of such generalizations include claims that all dispositions are intrinsic, essential, fundamental, or natural.! In order to counter this tendency, I will start by noting the (...)
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  • Intentionality and the Physical: A Reply to Mumford.Ullin T. Place - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (195):225-231.
    Martin and Pfeifer claim ‘that the most typical characterizations of intentionality’ proposed by philosophers are satisfied by physical dispositions. If that is correct, we must conclude either, as they do and as Mumford (this volume) does, that the philosophers are wrong and intentionality is something else or, as I do, that intentionality is what the philosophers say it is, in which case it is the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional; the intentionality of a disposition consists in (...)
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  • Conscious Thought and the Cognitive Fine-Tuning Problem.Philip Goff - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):98-122.
    Cognitive phenomenalism is the view that occurrent thoughts are identical with, or constituted of, cognitive phenomenology. This paper raises a challenge for this view: the cognitive fine-tuning problem. In broad brushstrokes the difficulty is that, for the cognitive phenomenalist, there is a distinction between three kinds of fact: cognitive phenomenal facts, sensory phenomenal facts, and functional facts. This distinction gives rise to the challenge of explaining why, in actuality, these three phenomena tend to be matched together in ways that respect (...)
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  • Intentionality and the Physical: A New Theory of Disposition Ascription.Stephen Mumford - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (195):215-225.
    This paper has three aims. First, I aim to stress the importance of the issue of the dispositional/categorical distinction in the light of the evident failure of the traditional formulation, which is in terms of conditional entailment. Second, I consider one radical new alternative on offer from Ullin Place: intentionality as the mark of the dispositional. I explain the appeal of physical intentionality, but show it ultimately to be unacceptable. Finally, I suggest what would be a better theory. If we (...)
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  • Contingent Identity.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (5):486-495.
    It is widely held that if an object a is identical (or non-identical) to an object b, then it is necessary that a is identical (non-identical) to b. This view is supported an argument from Leibniz's Law and a popular conception of de re modality. On the other hand, there are good reasons to allow for contingent identity. Various alternative accounts of de re modality have been developed to achieve this kind of generality, and to explain what is wrong with (...)
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  • The Semiotics of Education: A New Vision in an Old Landscape.Eetu Pikkarainen - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (10):1135-1144.
    In this article, I attempt to describe how certain theoretical constructions of semiotics could be applied in educational theoretical work. First I introduce meaning as a basic concept of semiotics, thus also touching on concepts such as action, competence and causality. I am then able to define learning as a change of competences, and also refer to the pedagogical concept of learning i.e. Bildung, which can be roughly defined as valuable human learning. I then take up the problem of education (...)
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  • The Mind/Brain Identity Theory.Jjc Smart - 2007 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The identity theory of mind holds that states and processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain. Strictly speaking, it need not hold that the mind is identical to the brain. Idiomatically we do use ‘She has a good mind’ and ‘She has a good brain’ interchangeably but we would hardly say ‘Her mind weighs fifty ounces’. Here I take identifying mind and brain as being a matter of identifying processes and perhaps states of the (...)
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  • Competence as a Key Concept of Educational Theory: A Semiotic Point of View.Eetu Pikkarainen - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 48 (4):621-636.
    In this article, the concept of competence is studied from the point of view of the semiotics of education. It will be claimed that it is a central key concept when we are trying to analyse the meaning of education. Educational action can be reasonably understood as an insecure and complicatedly mediated trial to affect another person's competence. First, the recent discussion about the concept of competence and its relatives is shortly reviewed. Then, competence is analysed and defined according to (...)
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  • Dispositions Unmasked.Jan Hauska - 2009 - Theoria 75 (4):304-335.
    The problem of masking is widely regarded as a grave threat to the conditional analysis of dispositions. Unlike the difficulty arising in connection with finkish situations, the problem does not involve the (dis)appearance of a disposition upon the arrival of its activating conditions. Consequently, some promising responses to the finkish cases, in particular David Lewis's reformed analysis, are ill-equipped to deal with masks. I contend that the difficulty posed by masks can be surmounted by supplementing the counterfactual at the heart (...)
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