What are the most fundamental features of the world? Do minds stand outside the natural order? Is a unified picture of mental and physical reality possible? The Mind in Nature provides a staunchly realist account of the world as a unified system incorporating both the mental and the physical.
The development of a compositional model shows the incoherence of such notions as levels of being and both bottom-up and top-down causality. The mathematization of nature through the partial considerations of physics qua quantities is seen to lead to Pythagoreanism, if what is not included in the partial consideration is denied. An ontology of only probabilities, if not Pythagoreanism, is equivalent to a world of primitive dispositionalities. Problems are found with each. There is a need for properties as well as (...) quantities and these properties must be qualitative as well as dispositional. So there is a need for physical qualia (qualities) for the depiction of the intrinsic character of the finest interstices of nature. (shrink)
'Why did the window break when it was hit by the stone? Because the window is brittle and the stone is hard; hardness and brittleness are powers, dispositional properties or dispositions.' Dispositions are essential to our understanding of the world. This book is a record of the debate on the nature of dispositions between three distinguished philosophers - D. M. Armstrong, C. B. Martin and U. T. Place - who have been thinking about dispositions all their working lives. Their distinctive (...) accounts cover many of the issues surrounding dispositions such as the nature of mind, matter, universals, existence, laws of nature and causation. Dispositions illuminates this central topic in analytic philosophy and at the same time highlights deeper concerns of metaphysics. (shrink)
IT IS SHOWN IN DETAIL THAT RECENT ACCOUNTS FAIL TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN INTENTIONALITY AND MERELY CAUSALLY DISPOSITIONAL STATES OF INORGANIC PHYSICAL OBJECTS—A QUICK ROAD TO PANPSYCHISM. THE CLEAR NEED TO MAKE SUCH A DISTINCTION GIVES DIRECTION FOR FUTURE WORK. A BEGINNING IS MADE TOWARD PROVIDING SUCH AN ACCOUNT.
Dispositions are essential to our understanding of the world. Dispositions: A Debate is an extended dialogue between three distinguished philosophers - D.M. Armstrong, C.B. Martin and U.T. Place - on the many problems associated with dispositions, which reveals their own distinctive accounts of the nature of dispositions. These are then linked to other issues such as the nature of mind, matter, universals, existence, laws of nature and causation.
The aim of this paper is to set out some of the ontologies amongst which some forms of anti-realism must select. This provides the appropriate setting for presenting an alternative realist ontology. The argument is that the choice between the varieties of anti-realism and realism is inevitably a choice between ontologies.
In answering the question, “How is the concept of a person possible?”, Strawson lays great stress upon a particular class of predicate.He says, “They are predicates, roughly, which involve doing something, which clearly imply intention or a state of mind or at least consciousness in general, and which indicate a characteristic pattern, or range of patterns, of bodily movement, while not indicating at all precisely any very definite sensation or experience …. Such predicates have the interesting characteristic of many P-predicates, (...) that one does not, in general, ascribe them to oneself on the strength of observation, whereas one does ascribe them to others on the strength of observations. But, in the case of these predicates, one feels minimal reluctance to concede that what is ascribed in these two different ways is the same. This is because of the marked dominance of a fairly definite pattern of bodily movement in what they describe, and the marked absence of any distinctive experience. (shrink)