The Ontology of Pure Dispositions

Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2010)

Authors
William A. Bauer
North Carolina State University
Abstract
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 for fragility is the underlying micro-structure of the vase. Moreover, micro-structural properties of the vase seem to anchor the continuous existence of the vase’s fragility when the vase is not actually breaking. In contrast to the neo-Humean metaphysical assumption that any disposition requires a causal basis in further properties, as in the example of fragility, the Pure Dispositions Thesis denies this. This dissertation achieves four goals. First, it defends the Pure Dispositions Thesis from notable objections: the Powers Regress Argument, the Insufficient Causal Basis Argument, the Argument from the Identity Thesis, and the Argument from Spatial Occupation. Second, it evaluates several theories of the continuous existence of pure dispositions, and argues that some pure dispositions are self-grounded via a minimally sufficient occurrence of their own power. Third, it presents two arguments that some pure dispositions are extrinsically grounded, the Argument from the Higgs Field and the Argument from Priority Monism, and deflects numerous objections to those arguments. Finally, it develops and defends an account of systems of pure dispositions, arguing that a pure dispositional system may generate higher-level categorical and dispositional properties by way of an emergence mechanism involving the union of two pure dispositions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,662
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Do Extrinsic Dispositions Need Extrinsic Causal Bases?Gabriele Contessa - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):622-638.
Dispositions.Michael Fara - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Unfinkable Dispositions.Toby Handfield - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):297 - 308.
The Bare Metaphysical Possibility of Bare Dispositions.Jennifer McKitrick - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):349–369.
Dispositions and the Argument From Science.Neil E. Williams - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):71 - 90.
Dispositional Explanations of Behavior.Rob Vanderbeeken & Erik Weber - 2002 - Behavior and Philosophy 30:43 - 59.
The Regress of Pure Powers?Alexander Bird - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):513–534.
Three Theses About Dispositions.Elizabeth Prior, Robert Pargetter & Frank Jackson - 1982 - American Philosophical Quarterly 19 (3):251-257.
The Dispositional Essentialist View of Properties and Laws.Anjan Chakravartty - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):393 – 413.
Causation, Laws and Dispositions.Andreas Hüttemann - 2007 - In Max Kistler & Bruno Gnassounou (eds.), Dispositions and Causal Powers. Ashgate.
Opposing Powers.Randolph Clarke - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):153 - 160.
What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested?Stathis Psillos - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):137-156.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-09-03

Total views
124 ( #66,560 of 2,280,783 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #194,568 of 2,280,783 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature