Metaphysica 21 (1):9-30 (2020)

Law dispositionalism is the doctrine according to which laws of nature are grounded on powers/dispositions. In this article, I shall examine how certain laws of nature can turn out to be contingent on this view. First of all, I shall distinguish between two versions of law dispositionalism (i.e., a weak and a strong one) and I shall also single out two further theses that may be conjoined with it (i.e., strong and weak dispositional essentialism). I shall then define four different sorts of laws of nature. Afterwards, I shall examine five sources of contingency for law dispositionalism: the contingent existence of the relevant entities involved in the laws; the contingent activation, background and possession conditions of the powers at stake; the presence of contingent constants in the laws; the presence of indeterministic powers; the presence of powers that are not essential to the entities involved in the laws.
Keywords dispositionalism  powers  laws of nature  dispositionalism  contingency  necessity
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Reprint years 2020
DOI 10.1515/mp-2019-0004
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References found in this work BETA

Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Four Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 2003 - Oxford University Press UK.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.

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