Dispositions without Teleology

Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10 (2017)
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We argue against accounting for dispositions (and of the progressive aspect) in terms of a fundamentally teleological metaphysics, and we defend our previous conditional account from some novel objections. In “Teleological Dispositions,” Nick Kroll offers a novel theory of dispositions in terms of primitive directed states. Kroll is clear that his notion of directedness “outstrips talk of goals, purposes, design, and function”, and that it commits him to “primitive teleological facts”. This notion may strike some as outdated and unscientific, but Kroll argues that it has an important theoretical role to play. In particular, he holds that a primitive notion of directedness can provide a theory of dispositions, an explanation of the link between dispositions and conditionals, and an account of the progressive aspect in English. In this paper, we raise some worries for each of these claims.



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Author Profiles

David Manley
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Ryan Wasserman
Western Washington University

Citations of this work

Power-ing up neo-aristotelian natural goodness.Ben Page - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3755-3775.

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References found in this work

Finkish dispositions.David Kellogg Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.
Dispositions and conditionals.C. B. Martin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):1-8.
Dispositions and habituals.Michael Fara - 2005 - Noûs 39 (1):43–82.

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