Antidotes all the way down?

Theoria 19 (3):259–69 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Dispositions are related to conditionals. Typically a fragile glass will break if struck with force. But possession of the disposition does not entail the corresponding simple (subjunctive or counterfactual) conditional. The phenomena of finks and antidotes show that an object may possess the disposition without the conditional being true. Finks and antidotes may be thought of as exceptions to the straightforward relation between disposition and conditional. The existence of these phenomena are easy to demonstrate at the macro-level. But do they exist at the fundamental level also? While fundamental finkish dispositions may be excluded fairly straightforwardly, the existence of fundamental antidotes is more open. Nonetheless I conclude that the phenomenon is likely to be less widespread than at the macro level and that fundamental antidotes may be eliminable. According to the dispositional essentialist, the laws of nature can be explained by taking natural properties to be essentially dispositional. This account can be extended to show that the existence of finks and antidotes explains ceteris paribus laws. Consequently the existence or otherwise of fundamental finks and antidotes sheds some light on the question of whether fundamental laws may also be ceteris paribus laws.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,140

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
590 (#16,313)

6 months
2 (#297,033)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alexander James Bird
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
Dispositions and subjunctives.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):323 - 341.
Unfinkable dispositions.Toby Handfield - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):297 - 308.
Causal nominalism.Ann Whittle - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
Can Dispositional Essences Ground the Laws of Nature?Richard Corry - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):263 - 275.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Causality and properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause. D. Reidel. pp. 109-35.
Finkish dispositions.David K. Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.
Dispositions and conditionals.C. B. Martin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):1-8.
Dispositions and antidotes.Alexander Bird - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (191):227-234.
Causality and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.

View all 6 references / Add more references