Dispositional essentialism and the necessity of laws

Analysis 69 (4):668-677 (2009)

Authors
Darrell P. Rowbottom
Lingnan University
Robin Hendry
Durham University
Abstract
We argue that the inference from dispositional essentialism about a property (in the broadest sense) to the metaphysical necessity of laws involving it is invalid. Let strict dispositional essentialism be any view according to which any given property’s dispositional character is precisely the same across all possible worlds. Clearly, any version of strict dispositional essentialism rules out worlds with different laws involving that property. Permissive dispositional essentialism is committed to a property’s identity being tied to its dispositional profile or causal role, yet is compatible with moderate interworld variation in a property’s dispositional profile. We provide such a model of dispositional essentialism about a property and metaphysical contingency of the laws involving it.
Keywords Dispositions  Laws  Necessity
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anp093
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References found in this work BETA

Laws in Nature.Stephen Mumford - 2004 - Routledge.
Causality and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause. D. Reidel. pp. 109-35.
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Self-Reference and Self-Awareness.Sydney S. Shoemaker - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (October):555-67.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
Ontological Reduction and Molecular Structure.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):183-191.
Ontological Reduction and Molecular Structure.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):183-191.
The Modal Status of Laws: In Defence of a Hybrid View.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):509-528.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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