Counterpossibles (not only) for dispositionalists

Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2681-2700 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Dispositionalists try to provide an account of modality—possibility, necessity, and the counterfactual conditional—in terms of dispositions. But there may be a tension between dispositionalist accounts of possibility on the one hand, and of counterfactuals on the other. Dispositionalists about possibility must hold that there are no impossible dispositions, i.e., dispositions with metaphysically impossible stimulus and/or manifestation conditions; dispositionalist accounts of counterfactuals, if they allow for non-vacuous counterpossibles, require that there are such impossible dispositions. I argue, first, that there are in fact no impossible dispositions; and second, that the dispositionalist can nevertheless acknowledge the non-vacuity of some counterpossibles. The strategy in the second part is one of ‘divide and conquer’ that is not confined to the dispositionalist: it consists in arguing that counterpossibles, when non-vacuous, are read epistemically and are therefore outside the purview of a dispositional account.

Similar books and articles

Alternative Frameworks and Counterpossibles.Maciej Sendłak - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (1):24-41.
Counterpossibles.Barak Krakauer - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts
Omission impossible.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2575-2589.
Remarks on counterpossibles.Berit Brogaard & Joe Salerno - 2013 - Synthese 190 (4):639-660.
Colors, Dispositions, and Similarity.Adam Wager - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):335-347.
Counteressential Conditionals.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):73-81.
The problem of counterpossibles.Daniel H. Cohen - 1987 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 29 (1):91-101.
Zagzebski and Interesting Counterpossibles.Richard Brian Davis - 1997 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 71:125-136.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-04-03

Downloads
799 (#17,791)

6 months
101 (#34,528)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Barbara Vetter
Freie Universität Berlin

Citations of this work

Counterlogicals as Counterconventionals.Alexander W. Kocurek & Ethan J. Jerzak - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (4):673-704.
Counteridenticals.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2018 - The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369.
Williamsonian modal epistemology, possibility-based.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):766-795.
Counterpossibles.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (11):e12787.
Can Hardcore Actualism Validate S5?Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):342-358.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Stephen Mumford.
Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality.Barbara Vetter - 2015 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.

View all 41 references / Add more references