Dispositional Essentialism and the Nature of Powerful Properties

Disputatio 5 (35):1-19 (2013)
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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 space-time points, whether pure powers need to occupy space, and how to account for the movement of pure powers through space-time. Given Point Theory, dispositional essentialists should maintain that sparse properties are pure powers.



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William A. Bauer
North Carolina State University

References found in this work

Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.

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