Unfinkable dispositions

Synthese 160 (2):297 - 308 (2008)
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Abstract

This paper develops two ideas with respect to dispositional properties: (1) Adapting a suggestion of Sungho Choi, it appears the conceptual distinction between dispositional and categorical properties can be drawn in terms of susceptibility to finks and antidotes. Dispositional, but not categorical properties, are not susceptible to intrinsic finks, nor are they remediable by intrinsic antidotes. (2) If correct, this suggests the possibility that some dispositions—those which lack any causal basis—may be insusceptible to any fink or antidote. Since finks and antidotes are a major obstacle to a conditional analysis of dispositions, these dispositions that are unfinkable may be successfully analysed by the conditional analysis of dispositions. This result is of importance for those who think that the fundamental properties might be dispositions which lack any distinct causal basis, because it suggests that these properties, if they exist, can be analysed by simple conditionals and that they will not be subject to ceteris paribus laws.

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Toby Handfield
Monash University

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
From an ontological point of view.John Heil - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Laws in nature.Stephen Mumford - 2004 - New York: Routledge.
How to speak of the colors.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (3):221-263.
Dispositions.Stephen Mumford - 1998 - Oxford, GB: Clarendon Press.

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