Dispositional Monism and the Circularity Objection

Metaphysica 11 (1):39-47 (2010)
Abstract
Three basic positions regarding the nature of fundamental properties are: dispositional monism, categorical monism and the mixed view. Dispositional monism apparently involves a regress or circularity, while an unpalatable consequence of categorical monism and the mixed view is that they are committed to quidditism. I discuss Alexander Bird's defence of dispositional monism based on the structuralist approach to identity. I argue that his solution does not help standard dispositional essentialism, as it admits the possibility that two distinct dispositional properties can possess the same stimuli and manifestations. Moreover, Bird's argument can be used to support the mixed view by relieving it of its commitment to quidditism. I briefly analyse an alternative defence of dispositional essentialism based on Leon Horsten's approach to the problem of circularity and impredicativity. I conclude that the best option is to choose Bird's solution but amend the dispositional perspective on properties. According to my proposal, the essences of dispositions are determined not directly by their stimuli and manifestations but by the role each property plays in the structure formed by the stimulus/manifestation relations
Keywords Dispositional monism  Categorical monism  Circularity  Structuralism  Quidditism
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DOI 10.1007/s12133-010-0055-1
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References found in this work BETA
Criteria of Identity and Structuralist Ontology.Hannes Leitgeb & James Ladyman - 2007 - Philosophia Mathematica 16 (3):388-396.
Against Quidditism.Robert Black - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (1):87 – 104.
Impredicative Identity Criteria.Leon Horsten - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):411-439.

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Citations of this work BETA
No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?Baptiste Le Bihan - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (2):207-232.

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