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Four Disputes About Properties

Synthese 144 (3):309-320 (2005)

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  1. Getting Causes From Powers By Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum.J. McKitrick - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):402-404.
  • Ethics and the Acquisition of Organs.D. Marquis - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):404-406.
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  • On the Possibility of Contigently Dispositional Properties.Vassilios Livanios - 2010 - Abstracta 6 (1):3-17.
    Metaphysicians who hold that there is an ontological distinction between two kinds of fundamental natural properties assume that properties are dispositional or non-dispositional necessarily. In contrast to this, I suggest that one can admit the existence of fundamental contingently dispositional properties. After some clarifications concerning the content of the suggested view, I respond to several objections regarding its intelligibility and viability and outline two of its important consequences.
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  • How (Not) To Be a Humean Structuralist.Kerry McKenzie - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 307--318.
  • Historical Inductions, Unconceived Alternatives, and Unconceived Objections.Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):59-68.
    In this paper, I outline a reductio against Stanford’s “New Induction” on the History of Science, which is an inductive argument against scientific realism that is based on what Stanford (2006) calls “the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives” (PUA). From the supposition that Stanford’s New Induction on the History of Science is cogent, and the parallel New Induction on the History of Philosophy (Mizrahi 2014), it follows that scientific antirealism is not worthy of belief. I also show that denying a key (...)
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  • Bradley’s Regress and Visual Content.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (2):155-172.
    According to the well-known Bradley’s Regress argument, one cannot explain the unity of states of affairs by referring to relations combining objects with properties. This argument has been widely discussed within analytic metaphysics, but has not been recognized as relevant for the philosophy of perception. I argue that the mainstream characterization of visual content is threatened by the Bradley’s Regress, and the most influential metaphysical solutions to the regress argument cannot be applied in the context of visual content. However, I (...)
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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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  • Laws and Lawlessness.Stephen Mumford - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):397-413.
    I develop a metaphysical position that is both lawless and anti-Humean. The position is called realist lawlessness and contrasts with both Humean lawlessness and nomological realism – the claim that there are laws in nature. While the Humean view also allows no laws, realist lawlessness is not Humean because it accepts some necessary connections in nature between distinct properties. Realism about laws, on the other hand, faces a central dilemma. Either laws govern the behaviour of properties from the outside or (...)
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  • What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested?Stathis Psillos - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):137-156.
    In the present paper, I offer a conceptual argument against the view that all properties are pure powers. I claim that thinking of all properties as pure powers leads to a regress. The regress, I argue, can be solved only if non-powers are admitted. The kernel of my thesis is that any attempt to answer the title question in an informative way will undermine a pure-power view of properties. In particular, I focus my critique on recent arguments in favour of (...)
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  • Double Prevention and Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):277-293.
    Does A cause B simply if A prevents what would have prevented B? Such a case is known as double prevention: where we have the prevention of a prevention. One theory of causation is that A causes B when B counterfactually depends on A and, as there is such a dependence, proponents of the view must rule that double prevention is causation.<br><br>However, if double prevention is causation, it means that causation can be an extrinsic matter, that the cause and effect (...)
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  • The Import of the Original Bradley's Regress(Es).Katarina Perovic - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (3):375-394.
    Much of the recent metaphysical literature on the problem of the relational unity of complexes leaves the impression that Bradley (or some Bradleyan argument) has uncovered a serious problem to be addressed. The problem is thought to be particularly challenging for trope theorists and realists about universals. In truth, there has been little clarity about the nature and import of the original Bradley’s regress arguments. In this paper, I offer a careful analysis and reconstruction of the arguments in Bradley’s Appearance (...)
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  • Powerful Qualities, Phenomenal Concepts, and the New Challenge to Physicalism.Henry Taylor - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):53-66.
    Defenders of the phenomenal concept strategy have to explain how both physical and phenomenal concepts provide a substantive grasp on the nature of their referents, whilst referring to the very same experience. This is the ‘new challenge’ to physicalism. In this paper, I argue that if the physicalist adopts the powerful qualities ontology of properties then a new and powerful version of the phenomenal concept strategy can be developed, which answers the new challenge.
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  • Instantiation as Partial Identity: Replies to Critics. [REVIEW]Donald L. M. Baxter - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):291-299.
    One of the advantages of my account in the essay “Instantiation as Partial Identity” was capturing the contingency of instantiation—something David Armstrong gave up in his experiment with a similar view. What made the contingency possible for me was my own non-standard account of identity, complete with the apparatus of counts and aspects. The need remains to lift some obscurity from the account in order to display its virtues to greater advantage. To that end, I propose to respond to those (...)
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  • Did God Do It? Metaphysical Models and Theological Hermeneutics.Benedikt Paul Göcke - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):215-231.
    I start by way of clarifying briefly the problem of special divine intervention. Once this is done, I argue that laws of nature are generalizations that derive from the dispositional behaviour of natural kinds. Based on this conception of laws of nature I provide a metaphysical model according to which God can realize acts of special divine providence by way of temporarily changing the dispositions of natural entities. I show that this model does not contradict scientific practice and is consistent (...)
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  • Instantiation is Not Partial Identity.Nicholas Mantegani - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):697-715.
    In order to avoid the problems faced by standard realist analyses of the “relation” of instantiation, Baxter and, following him, Armstrong each analyze the instantiation of a universal by a particular in terms of their partial identity. I introduce two related conceptions of partial identity, one mereological and one non-mereological, both of which require at least one of the relata of the partial identity “relation” to be complex. I then introduce a second non-mereological conception of partial identity, which allows for (...)
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  • Instance Is the Converse of Aspect.Boris Hennig - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):3-20.
    According to the aspect theory of instantiation, a particular A instantiates a universal B if and only if an aspect of A is cross-count identical with an aspect of B. This involves the assumption that both particulars and universals have aspects, and that aspects can mediate between different ways of counting things. I will ask what is new about this account of instantiation and, more importantly, whether it is an improvement on its older relatives. It will turn out that the (...)
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  • Powerful Qualities and Pure Powers.Henry Taylor - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1423-1440.
    Many think that properties are powers. However, whilst some claim that properties are pure powers, others claim that properties are powerful qualities. In this paper, I argue that the canonical formulation of the powerful qualities view is no different from the pure powers view. Contrary to appearances, the two positions accept the same view of properties. Thus, the debate between them rests on an illusion. I draw out some consequences of this surprising result for issues over property individuation. Along the (...)
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  • Properties: Qualities, Powers, or Both?Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (1):55-80.
    Powers are popularly assumed to be distinct from, and dependent upon, inert qualities, mainly because it is believed that qualities have their nature independently of other properties while powers have their nature in virtue of a relation to distinct manifestation property. George Molnar and Alexander Bird, on the other hand, characterize powers as intrinsic and relational. The difficulties of reconciling the characteristics of being intrinsic and at the same time essentially related are illustrated in this paper and it is argued (...)
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  • How to Welcome Spontaneous Manifestations.Jan Hauska - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):147-176.
    George Molnar’s contention that some dispositional properties are displayed without the aid of any activating conditions poses a challenge to the conditional analysis of dispositions. Since the invocation of activating conditions is regarded as a crucial feature of the analysis, spontaneous dispositions are believed to expose its inadequacy by eluding its scope. The challenge goes to the very heart of the conditional approach to dispositions, allegedly revealing a deep flaw in all its incarnations. Granting that there may be spontaneously manifestable (...)
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  • Powerful Qualities, Zombies and Inconceivability.Alexander Carruth - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:pqv055.
  • Hylomorphism and the Metaphysics of Structure.William Jaworski - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (2):179-201.
    Hylomorphism claims that structure is a basic ontological and explanatory principle; it accounts for what things are and what they can do. My goal is to articulate a metaphysic of hylomorphic structure different from those currently on offer. It is based on a substance-attribute ontology that takes properties to be powers and tropes. Hylomorphic structures emerge, on this account, as powers to configure the materials that compose individuals.
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  • Can a Single Property Be Both Dispositional and Categorical? The “Partial Consideration Strategy”, Partially Considered.Robert Schroer - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):63-77.
    One controversial position in the debate over dispositional and categorical properties maintains that our concepts of these properties are the result of partially considering unitary properties that are both dispositional and categorical. As one of its defenders (Heil 2005, p. 351) admits, this position is typically met with “incredulous stares”. In this paper, I examine whether such a reaction is warranted. This thesis about properties is an instance of what I call “the Partial Consideration Strategy”—i.e., the strategy of claiming that (...)
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