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

What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Consciousness and Mind.David Rosenthal - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
What is a Law of Nature?David M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
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Causality and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause. D. Reidel. pp. 109-35.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - 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.
The Modal Status of Laws: In Defence of a Hybrid View.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):509-528.
Hamilton’s Principle and Dispositional Essentialism: Friends or Foes?Vassilis Livanios - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (1):59-71.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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Can Dispositional Essences Ground the Laws of Nature?Richard Corry - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):263 - 275.
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