Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1147-1163 (2016)

Authors
Matthew Tugby
Durham University
Abstract
Proponents of the dispositional theory of properties typically claim that their view is not one that offers a realist, governing conception of laws. My first aim is to show that, contrary to this claim, if one commits to dispositionalism then one does not automatically give up on a robust, realist theory of laws. This is because dispositionalism can readily be developed within a Platonic framework of universals. Second, I argue that there are good reasons for realist dispositionalists to favour a Platonic view. This is because the alternative Aristotelian version of dispositionalism, on which universals are immanent entities, is unstable for various reasons. My final aim is to address a common criticism facing Platonic theories of laws, which is the problem of how external entities can play an explanatory role where the world’s law-like patterns of behaviour are concerned. I argue that the Platonists’ response to the one over many problem can help to shed light on this matter, and a possible solution is sketched, one which makes use of the notions of essence, constitution and ontological dependence
Keywords Laws  Dispositions  Universals  Platonism  Aristotelianism  Explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-015-0521-2
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Making Sense of Powerful Qualities.Ashley Coates - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8347-8363.
No Laws and (Thin) Powers in, No (Governing) Laws Out.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
A New Universal Bundle Theory.Ruoyu Zhang - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):473-486.
Non-Factualist Dispositionalism.Manuel Heras-Escribano - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):607-629.

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