Overpowering: How the Powers Ontology Has Overreached Itself

Mind 125 (498):341-383 (2016)
Authors
Alexander James Bird
King's College London
Abstract
Many authors have argued in favour of an ontology of properties as powers, and it has been widely argued that this ontology allows us to address certain philosophical problems in novel and illuminating ways, for example, causation, representation, intentionality, free will and liberty. I argue that the ontology of powers, even if successful as an account of fundamental natural properties, does not provide the insight claimed as regards the aforementioned non-fundamental phenomena. I illustrate this argument by criticizing the powers theory of causation presented by Mumford and Anjum and showing that related criticisms can be directed at other abuses of powers.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzv207
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 33,634
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

Powerful Qualities and Pure Powers.Henry Taylor - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1423-1440.
I—Fundamental Powers, Evolved Powers, and Mental Powers.Alexander Bird - 2018 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 92 (1):247-275.
Epiphenomenal Properties.Umut Baysan - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):419-431.
II—Evolved Powers, Artefact Powers, and Dispositional Explanations.Barbara Vetter - 2018 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 92 (1):277-297.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Powers, Necessity, and Determinism.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):225-229.
Is Powerful Causation an Internal Relation?David Yates - 2016 - In Anna Marmodoro & David Yates (eds.), The Metaphysics of Relations. Oxford University Press. pp. 138-156.
Double Prevention and Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):277-293.
Social Space and the Ontology of Recognition.Italo Testa - 2011 - In Heikki Ikäheimo Arto Laitinen (ed.), Recognition and Social Ontology. Brill Books (pp. 287-308).
What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested?Stathis Psillos - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):137-156.
The Regress of Pure Powers?Alexander Bird - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):513–534.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-04-28

Total downloads
83 ( #74,014 of 2,260,027 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #29,241 of 2,260,027 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature