Power Worlds and the Problem of Individuation

American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3):269-282 (2017)

Matthew Tugby
Durham University
Is it metaphysically possible for a world to contain power properties but no nonpower properties? Recently, much progress has been made by powers theorists to defend the coherence of such a possibility. But unfortunately, it remains unclear how the powers in a power world are individuated. The problem is that the most obvious principle of individuation for properties in a power world is one that is circular. In this paper, it is argued that this circularity is generated by a modal assumption, which is that different families of powers exist in different possible worlds. By rejecting this assumption, a noncircular principle of individuation for power properties can be formulated. Moreover, this solution is not ad hoc because there are independent reasons for rejecting the aforementioned modal assumption.
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References found in this work BETA

Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Grounding: Toward a Theory of the I N-Virtue-Of Relation.Paul Audi - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):685-711.
Laws in Nature.Stephen Mumford - 2002 - Routledge.

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Citations of this work BETA

New Powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2020 - Synthese (ST: New Foundations for Disposit):1-30.

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