Synthese 195 (10):4525-4550 (2017)

Authors
David Yates
Universidade de Lisboa
Abstract
In the pure powers ontology (PPO), basic physical properties have wholly dispositional essences. PPO has clear advantages over categoricalist ontologies, which suffer from familiar epistemological and metaphysical problems. However, opponents argue that because it contains no qualitative properties, PPO lacks the resources to individuate powers, and generates a regress. The challenge for those who take such arguments seriously is to introduce qualitative properties without reintroducing the problems that PPO was meant to solve. In this paper, I distinguish the core claim of PPO: (i) basic physical properties have dispositional essences, from a hitherto unnoticed assumption: (ii) the dispositional essences of basic physical properties exclusively involve type-causal relations to other basic physical properties. I reject (ii), making room for a structuralist ontology in which all basic physical properties are pure powers, individuated by their places in a causal structure that includes not only other powers, but also physically realized qualitative properties such as shapes, patterns and structures. Such qualities individuate pure powers in the way that non-mental input and output properties individuate realized mental properties in functionalist theories of mind, except that here it is basic physical powers that are individuated by relations to realized non-powers. I distinguish one Platonic and two Aristotelian version of this theory, and argue that the Aristotelian versions require that grounding is not always a relative fundamentality relation, because the powers ground the qualities that individuate them. By considering ontic structural realism, I argue that symmetric grounding is the best way to make sense of relational individuation in structuralist ontologies, and is therefore no additional commitment of the one proposed here.
Keywords Powers  Structuralism  Regress of pure powers  Grounding  Fundamentality  Ontic Structural Realism  Realization  Symmetric Grounding  Individuation  Powerful Qualities
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017, 2018
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1417-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David K. Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
Ramseyan Humility.David K. Lewis - 2009 - In David Braddon-Mitchell & Robert Nola (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism. MIT Press. pp. 203-222.
A World of States of Affairs.[author unknown] - 1997 - Philosophy 74 (287):130-134.

View all 38 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Dispositions.Sungho Choi - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Dispositions.Michael Fara - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Powerful Causation an Internal Relation?David Yates - 2016 - In Anna Marmodoro & David Yates (eds.), The Metaphysics of Relations. Oxford University Press. pp. 138-156.
Power Worlds and the Problem of Individuation.Matthew Tugby - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3):269-282.
The Failure of Lewis's Functionalism.Joseph Owens - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):159-73.
A Darwinian Approach to Functionalism.Suzanne Cunningham - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:145-157.
Putting Powers Back on Multi-Track.Neil E. Williams - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (3):581-595.
A Farewell to Functionalism.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (July):1-14.
Proper Functionalism.Kenneth Boyce - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-05-01

Total views
457 ( #12,845 of 2,333,391 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
36 ( #17,044 of 2,333,391 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes