A plenitude of powers

Synthese:1-21 (forthcoming)

Authors
Barbara Vetter
Freie Universität Berlin
Abstract
Dispositionalism about modality is the view that metaphysical modality is a matter of the dispositions possessed by actual objects. In a recent paper, David Yates has raised an important worry about the formal adequacy of dispositionalism. This paper responds to Yates’s worry by developing a reply that Yates discusses briefly but dismisses as ad hoc: an appeal to a ’plenitude of powers’ including such powers as the necessarily always manifested power for \ to be 4. I argue that the reply is not ad hoc at all, by defending the metaphysics of dispositions that should underly it. I then argue, first, that a proper understanding of dispositions’ degrees provides us with an argument for such necessarily always manifested dispositions; second, that all the natural attempts to block that argument can be resisted without being ad hoc; and third, that pragmatic considerations explain our intuitive resistance to the ascription of necessarily always manifested dispositions. Dispositionalism can be formally adequate after all.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-1758-z
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References found in this work BETA

Finkish Dispositions.David K. Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.
Dispositions Without Conditionals.Barbara Vetter - 2014 - Mind 123 (489):129-156.
Epistemic Possibilities.Keith DeRose - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):581-605.
Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar & Stephen Mumford - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):674-677.

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