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In Tim Crane (ed.), Dispositions: A Debate. New York: Routledge (1996)

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  1. Qualitative properties and relations.Jan Plate - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1297-1322.
    This paper is concerned with two concepts of qualitativeness that apply to intensional entities. I propose an account of pure qualitativeness that largely follows the traditional understanding established by Carnap, and try to shed light on its ontological presuppositions. On this account, an intensional entity is purely qualitative iff it does not ‘involve’ any particular. An alternative notion of qualitativeness—which I propose to refer to as a concept of strict qualitativeness—has recently been introduced by Chad Carmichael. However, Carmichael’s definition presupposes (...)
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  • The Dispositional Essentialist View of Properties and Laws.Anjan Chakravartty - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):393 – 413.
    One view of the nature of properties has been crystallized in recent debate by an identity thesis proposed by Shoemaker. The general idea is that there is for behaviour. Well-known criticisms of this approach, however, remain unanswered, and the details of its connections to laws nothing more to being a particular causal property than conferring certain dispositions of nature and the precise ontology of causal properties stand in need of development. This paper examines and defends a dispositional essentialist account of (...)
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  • Unmanifested Powers and Universals.Ashley Coates - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    According to a well-known argument against dispositional essentialism, the nature of unmanifested token powers leaves dispositional essentialists with an objectionable commitment to the reality of non-existent entities. The idea is that, because unmanifested token powers are directed at their non-existent token manifestations, they require the reality of those manifestations. Arguably the most promising response to this argument works by claiming that, if properties are universals, dispositional directedness need only entail the reality of actually existing manifestation types. I argue that this (...)
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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 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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  • Towards a Unitary Case for Russellian Panpsychism.Luca Dondoni - 2021 - Philosophia 2021 (1):1-22.
    One of the most pressing challenges that occupy the Russellian panpsychist’s agenda is to come up with a way to reconcile the traditional argument from categorical properties (Seager, 2006; Alter & Nagasawa, 2015) with H. H. Mørch’s dispositionalism-friendly argument from the experience of causation (2014, 2018, 2020) — on the way to a unitary, all-encompassing case for the view. In this regard, Mørch claims that, via the commitment to the Identity theory of properties, one can consistently hold both panpsychist arguments (...)
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  • Monism on the One Hand, Pluralism on the Other.Matthew H. Slater - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):22-42.
    In this paper, I consider ways of responding to critiques of natural kinds monism recently suggested from the pluralist camp. Even if monism is determined to be untenable in certain domains (say, about species), it might well be tenable in others. Chemistry is suggested to be such a monist‐friendly domain. Suggestions of trouble for chemical kinds can be defused by attending to the difference between monism as a metaphysical thesis and as a claim about classification systems. Finally, I consider enantiomers (...)
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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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  • 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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  • The Categorical-Dispositional Distinction, Locations and Symmetry Operations.Vassilis Livanios - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (2):133-144.
    In his book Powers (2003), George Molnar argues against Dispositional Monism by presenting a posteriori reasons to believe in the existence of actual categorical features. In this paper I argue that either Molnar’s project is misdirected, since the properties he concentrates on are most possibly irrelevant for the debate between Dispositional Monism and Property Dualism, or, granted that the properties he chooses are indeed relevant, his arguments cannot prove that they are categorical without begging the question against Dispositional Monism.
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  • Essentialism and the Necessity of the Laws of Nature.Alice Drewery - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):381-396.
    In this paper I discuss and evaluate different arguments for the view that the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. I conclude that essentialist arguments from the nature of natural kinds fail to establish that essences are ontologically more basic than laws, and fail to offer an a priori argument for the necessity of all causal laws. Similar considerations carry across to the argument from the dispositionalist view of properties, which may end up placing unreasonable constraints on property identity across (...)
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  • What is a Disposition?Troy Cross - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):321-41.
    Attempts to capture the distinction between categorical and dispositional states in terms of more primitive modal notions – subjunctive conditionals, causal roles, or combinatorial principles – are bound to fail. Such failure is ensured by a deep symmetry in the ways dispositional and categorical states alike carry modal import. But the categorical/dispositional distinction should not be abandoned; it underpins important metaphysical disputes. Rather, it should be taken as a primitive, after which the doomed attempts at reductive explanation can be transformed (...)
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  • The Myth of Reductive Extensionalism.Itay Shani - 2007 - Axiomathes 17 (2):155-183.
    Extensionalism, as I understand it here, is the view that physical reality consists exclusively of extensional entities. On this view, intensional entitities must either be eliminated in favor of an ontology of extensional entities, or be reduced to such an ontology, or otherwise be admitted as non-physical. In this paper I argue that extensionalism is a misguided philosophical doctrine. First, I argue that intensional phenomena are not confined to the realm of language and thought. Rather, the ontology of such phenomena (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Finality Revived: Powers and Intentionality.David S. Oderberg - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2387-2425.
    Proponents of physical intentionality argue that the classic hallmarks of intentionality highlighted by Brentano are also found in purely physical powers. Critics worry that this idea is metaphysically obscure at best, and at worst leads to panpsychism or animism. I examine the debate in detail, finding both confusion and illumination in the physical intentionalist thesis. Analysing a number of the canonical features of intentionality, I show that they all point to one overarching phenomenon of which both the mental and the (...)
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  • Moral Principles Are Not Moral Laws.Luke Robinson - 2007 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2 (3):1-22.
    What are moral principles? The assumption underlying much of the generalism–particularism debate in ethics is that they are (or would be) moral laws: generalizations or some special class thereof, such as explanatory or counterfactual-supporting generalizations. I argue that this law conception of moral principles is mistaken. For moral principles do at least three things that moral laws cannot do, at least not in their own right: explain certain phenomena, provide particular kinds of support for counterfactuals, and ground moral necessities, “necessary (...)
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