What are physical objects like when they are considered independently of their causal interactions? Many think that the answer to this question involves categoricalproperties– properties that make contributions to their bearers that are independent of any causal interactions those objects may enter into. In this paper, I examine two challenges that this solution poses to Physicalism. The first challenge is that, given that they are distinct from any of the scientifically described causal powers that they happen (...) to convey, categoricalproperties will not qualify as being ‘physical’ properties. Given the right definition of ‘physical’, this challenge can be overcome. I argue, however, that the only way we can have a positive grasp of the nature of categoricalproperties is via ‘acquaintance’– a non-physical relation. This second challenge to Physicalism cannot be overcome.1. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that there are categoricalproperties as well as causal powers, and that the world would not exist as we know it without them. For categoricalproperties are needed to define the powers—to locate them, and to specify their laws of action. These categoricalproperties, I shall argue, are not dispositional. For their identities do not depend on what they dispose their bearers to do. They are, as (...) Alexander Bird would say, ’quiddities’. But there is nothing wrong with quiddities. And, in the second half of this paper, I shall defend the thesis that all categoricalproperties are quiddities. (shrink)
Dispostions, such as solubility, cannont be reduced to categoricalproperties, such as molecular structure, without some element of dipositionaity remaining. Democritus did not reduce all properties to the geometry of atoms - he had to retain the rigidity of the atoms, that is, their disposition not to change shape when a force is applied. So dispositions-not-to, like rigidity, cannot be eliminated. Neither can dispositions-to, like solubility.
Qualia have proved difficult to integrate into a broadly physicalistic worldview. In this paper, I argue that despite popular wisdom in the philosophy of mind, qualia’s intrinsicality is not sufficient for their non-reducibility. Second, I diagnose why philosophers mistakenly focused on intrinsicality. I then proceed to argue that qualia are categorical and end with some reflections on how the conceptual territory looks when we keep our focus on categoricity.
Stephen Yablo has attempted recently to revive the notion of contingent identity, identifying this with a relation of L coincidence between objects that are "distinct by nature but the same in the circumstances" (296). Yablo argues convincingly for the need of essentialist metaphysics to recognize some relation of this sort, a relation of "intimate identity-like connections between things" (296) if it is to acknowledge properly the intuitive difference between (i) the nonidentity of a bust B and a hunk of wax (...) H of which it is composed, and (ii) the nonidentity of the hunk H and the Treaty of Versailles. (i) and (ii) are clearly not on the same level. Even though B, like the Treaty of Versailles, fails to be strictly identical to H, it is very closely, and quite specially, related to it. What this relation is is certainly worth a general inquiry. (shrink)
Metalogical properties that have traditionally been studied in the deductive system context (see, e.g., ) and transferred later to the institution context , are here formulated in the -institution context. Preservation under deductive equivalence of -institutions is investigated. If a property is known to hold in all algebraic -institutions and is preserved under deductive equivalence, then it follows that it holds in all algebraizable -institutions in the sense of .
This paper largely engages with Brian Ellis’s description of categorical dimensions as put forward in his paper in this volume. The New Essentialism advocated by Ellis posits the ontologically-robust existence of both dispositional and categoricalproperties. I have argued that the distinction that Ellis draws between the two is unpersuasive, and that the causal role of categorical dimensions—what they do—is inseparable from what they are. This observation is reinforced by the fact that absolute physical quantities permit (...) re-interpretations of measurement that remove a clear differentiation between categoricity and dispositionality. Distinguishing between ‘pure power’ and ‘dispositionality’, I further argue that: i) there are no ontologically-robust categoricalproperties, although their apparent existence is explicable as higher-order and supervenient; ii) that the fundamental ingredients of the world may be accounted for in terms of pure-power that is neither categorical nor dispositional; and iii) that the categorical-dispositional distinction arises only at the higher-order level of objects, and does not in any case constitute ontologically-robust partitioning of reality. -/- . (shrink)
Metalogical properties that have traditionally been studied in the deductive system context and transferred later to the institution context , are here formulated in the π-institution context. Preservation under deductive equivalence of π-institutions is investigated. If a property is known to hold in all algebraic π-institutions and is preserved under deductive equivalence, then it follows that it holds in all algebraizable π-institutions in the sense of .
One controversial position in the debate over dispositional and categoricalproperties maintains that our concepts of these properties are the result of partially considering unitary properties that are both dispositional and categorical. As one of its defenders (Heil 2005, p. 351) admits, this position is typically met with “incredulous stares”. In this paper, I examine whether such a reaction is warranted. This thesis about properties is an instance of what I call “the Partial Consideration (...) Strategy”—i.e., the strategy of claiming that what were formerly thought of as distinct entities are actually a unified entity, partially considered. By evaluating its use in other debates, I uncover a multi-layered prima facie case against the use of the Partial Consideration Strategy in the dispositional/categoricalproperties debate. In closing, I describe how the Partial Consideration Strategy can be reworked in a way that would allow it to sidestep this prima facie case. (shrink)
This Thesis engages with contemporary philosophical controversies about the nature of dispositional properties or powers and the relationship they have to their non-dispositional counterparts. The focus concerns fundamentality. In particular, I seek to answer the question, ‘What fundamental properties suffice to account for the manifest world?’ The answer I defend is that fundamental categoricalproperties need not be invoked in order to derive a viable explanation for the manifest world. My stance is a field-theoretic view which (...) describes the world as a single system comprised of pure power, and involves the further contention that ‘pure power’ should not be interpreted as ‘purely dispositional’, if dispositionality means potentiality, possibility or otherwise unmanifested power or ability bestowed upon some bearer. The theoretical positions examined include David Armstrong’s Categoricalism, Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties, Brian Ellis’s New Essentialism, Ullin Place’s Conceptualism, Charles Martin’s and John Heil’s Identity Theory of Properties and Rom Harré’s Theory of Causal Powers. The central concern of this Thesis is to examine reasons for holding a pure-power theory, and to defend such a stance. This involves two tasks. The first requires explaining what plays the substance role in a pure-power world. This Thesis argues that fundamental power, although not categorical, can be considered ontologically-robust and thus able to fulfil the substance role. A second task—answering the challenge put forward by Richard Swinburne and thereafter replicated in various neo-Swinburne arguments—concerns how the manifestly qualitative world can be explained starting from a pure-power base. The Light-like Network Account is put forward in an attempt to show how the manifest world can be derived from fundamental pure power. (shrink)
Notoriously, the dispositional view of natural properties is thought to face a number of regress problems, one of which points to an epistemological worry. In this paper, I argue that the rival categorical view is also susceptible to the same kind of regress problem. This problem can be overcome, most plausibly, with the development of a structuralist epistemology. After identifying problems faced by alternative solutions, I sketch the main features of this structuralist epistemological approach, referring to graph-theoretic modelling (...) in the process. Given that both the categoricalists and dispositionalists are under pressure to adopt this same epistemological approach in light of the regress problem, this suggests that the categoricalist versus dispositionalist debate is best fought on metaphysical rather than epistemological grounds. (shrink)
This book explores the dispositional and categorical debates on the metaphysics of properties. It defends the view that all fundamental properties and relations are contingently categorical, while also examining alternative accounts of the nature of properties. Drawing upon both established research and the author's own investigation into the broader discipline of the metaphysics of science, this book provides a comprehensive study of the many views and opinions regarding a most debatable topic in contemporary metaphysics.
Powers are popularly assumed to be distinct from, and dependent upon, inert qualities, mainly because it is believed that qualities have their nature independently of other properties while powers have their nature in virtue of a relation to distinct manifestation property. George Molnar and Alexander Bird, on the other hand, characterize powers as intrinsic and relational. The difficulties of reconciling the characteristics of being intrinsic and at the same time essentially related are illustrated in this paper and it is (...) argued that the reasons for thinking of powers as essentially relational are based on misguided epistemological consideration. Finally, I present a way of thinking of fundamental properties as primitive natures that we can only understand in virtue of what they do but which we should not think of as being ontologically constituted by these doings. According to this view, properties are both qualities and powers. (shrink)
A disposition mask is something that prevents a disposition from manifesting despite the occurrence of that disposition’s characteristic stimulus, and without eliminating that disposition. Several authors have maintained that masks must be things extrinsic to the objects that have the masked dispositions. Here it is argued that this is not so; masks can be intrinsic to the objects whose dispositions they mask. If that is correct, then a recent attempt to distinguish dispositional properties from so-called categoricalproperties (...) fails. (shrink)
The major objection for including mental properties, and laws, within the domain of scientific essentialism concerns phenomenal properties, and such an objection is often raised via the intuition that zombies are conceivable. However, if these properties can be individuated in terms of roles and establish nomological relations, zombies are not possible because they would be nomologically identical to us but property different, an independence that essentialism denies. If there are not nomological relations, the essentialist denies that there (...) are phenomenal properties, and we are zombie. But it seems there are phenomenal properties, so this option too should be discarded. The only option left is that phenomenal properties are categoricalproperties. However, I argue that this option is not viable and that these properties are better construed as dispositions, which gives physicalism a better chance to be defensible. (shrink)
Seeking to derive the manifestly qualitative world of objects and entities without recourse to fundamental categoricity or qualitativity, I offer an account of how higher-order categoricalproperties and objects may emerge from a pure-power base. I explore the possibility of ‘fields’ whose fluctuations are force-carrying entities, differentiated with respect to a micro-topology of curled-up spatial dimensions. Since the spacetime paths of gauge bosons have zero ‘spacetime interval’ and no time-like extension, I argue that according them the status of (...) fundamental entities would support a pure-power ontology. Such entities, circulating within self-sustaining micro-topological ‘networks’, feasibly maintain definite spatial configurations of conserved physical quantities, including energy-momentum. Perceived as time-like and massy, and representing fermionic entities, they give rise to the manifest world. (shrink)
: It is widely thought that dispositional properties depend upon categoricalproperties; specifying the nature of this dependency, however, has proven a difficult task. The dependency of dispositional properties upon categoricalproperties also presents a challenge to the thesis of Physicalism: If the physical sciences only tell us about the dispositional properties of the objects they study and if dispositional properties depend upon categoricalproperties, then it appears that there will (...) be kind of property—categoricalproperties—that will escape description by the physical sciences. This paper argues that a new theory of dispositional and categoricalproperties, a theory put forth by C.B. Martin and John Heil, solves both of these problems: It presents a way of understanding the sense in which dispositional properties depend upon categoricalproperties that has major advantages over more popular accounts of this dependency and it also provides a new and interesting Physicalist response to the challenge presented by categoricalproperties. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the requirement for the qualitative is theory-dependent, determined by the fundamental assumptions built into the ontology. John Heil’s qualitative, in its role as individuator of objects and powers, is required only by a theory that posits a world of distinct objects or powers. Does Heil’s ‘deep’ view of the world, such that there is only one powerful object require the qualitative as individuator of objects and powers? The answer depends on whether it is possible (...) to account for the manifest objects and the ostensible spatial primacy of our perceived world without recourse to the qualitative. In this paper I outline just such an account with the intention of extending Heil’s efforts to incorporate fundamental power in the world while providing a coherent explanation for our strong intuition of spatial, as against relational, priority. (shrink)
Defends the arguments for the irredicibility of dispositions to categoricalproperties in "Are dispositions reducible to categoricalproperties?" (Philosophical Quarterly 36, 1986) against the criticisms of D.M. Armstrong (Philosophical Quarterly 38, 1988).
The original article, 'Are dispositions reducible to categoricalproperties? (Philosophical Quarterly, 36, 1986), argued that dispositions are not so reducible. The present article defends this view against the criticisms of D M Armstrong (Philosophical Quarterly, 38, 1988). Dispositions are distinguished from fully categoricalproperties like symmetry.
A novel conceptual framework is introduced for the Complexity Levels Theory in a Categorical Ontology of Space and Time. This conceptual and formal construction is intended for ontological studies of Emergent Biosystems, Super-complex Dynamics, Evolution and Human Consciousness. A claim is defended concerning the universal representation of an item’s essence in categorical terms. As an essential example, relational structures of living organisms are well represented by applying the important categorical concept of natural transformations to biomolecular reactions and (...) relational structures that emerge from the latter in living systems. Thus, several relational theories of living systems can be represented by natural transformations of organismic, relational structures. The ascent of man and other living organisms through adaptation, is viewed in novel categorical terms, such as variable biogroupoid representations of evolving species. Such precise but flexible evolutionary concepts will allow the further development of the unifying theme of local-to-global approaches to highly complex systems in order to represent novel patterns of relations that emerge in super- and ultra-complex systems in terms of compositions of local procedures. Solutions to such local-to-global problems in highly complex systems with ‘broken symmetry’ might be possible to be reached with the help of higher homotopy theorems in algebraic topology such as the generalized van Kampen theorems (HHvKT). Categories of many-valued, Łukasiewicz-Moisil (LM) logic algebras provide useful concepts for representing the intrinsic dynamic ‘asymmetry’ of genetic networks in organismic development and evolution, as well as to derive novel results for (non-commutative) Quantum Logics. Furthermore, as recently pointed out by Baianu and Poli (Theory and applications of ontology, vol 1. Springer, Berlin, in press), LM-logic algebras may also provide the appropriate framework for future developments of the ontological theory of levels with its complex/entangled/intertwined ramifications in psychology, sociology and ecology. As shown in the preceding two papers in this issue, a paradigm shift towards non-commutative, or non-Abelian, theories of highly complex dynamics—which is presently unfolding in physics, mathematics, life and cognitive sciences—may be implemented through realizations of higher dimensional algebras in neurosciences and psychology, as well as in human genomics, bioinformatics and interactomics. (shrink)
The ontology of ‘powerful qualities’ is gaining an increasing amount of attention in the literature on properties. This is the view that the so-called categorical or qualitative properties are identical with ‘dispositional’ properties. The position is associated with C.B. Martin, John Heil, Galen Strawson and Jonathan Jacobs. Robert Schroer ( 2012 ) has recently mounted a number of criticisms against the powerful qualities view as conceived by these main adherents, and has also advanced his own (radically (...) different) version of the view. In this paper I have three main aims: firstly, I shall defend the ontology from his critique, arguing that his criticisms do not damage the position. Secondly, I shall argue that Schroer’s own version of the view is untenable. Thirdly, the paper shall serve to clear up some conceptual confusions that often bedevil the powerful qualities view. (shrink)
John Hick’s theory concerning plurality of religions is an ontologic pluralism according to which all religions are authentic ways for man to attain the "real an sich". Gods of religions are real as perceived and veridical hallucinations; while the “real an sich” has ineffable substantial and trans-categoricalproperties. Hick’s view suffers from several problems. As a second order analysis of religions, Hick’s view is not a correct one. To reject naturalism, it falls into an epistemological circle, where distinction (...) between formal and substantial properties fades away. It seems that Hick is captured by a category mistake in the presentation of his own theory concerning authenticity of all religions to attain the "real an sich". (shrink)
In a recent paper, Bird (in: Groff (ed.) Revitalizing causality: Realism about causality in philosophy and social science, 2007 ) has argued that some higher-order properties—which he calls “evolved emergent properties”—can be considered causally efficacious in spite of exclusion arguments. I have previously argued in favour of a similar position. The basic argument is that selection processes do not take physical categoricalproperties into account. Rather, selection mechanisms are only tuned to what such properties can (...) do, i.e., to their causal powers. This picture seems ultimately untenable in the light of further exclusion problems; but at the same time, it meets our explanatory demands. My purpose is therefore to show that there is a real antinomy with regard to evolved emergent properties. I develop a physicalist exclusion argument and then I go on to consider an argument that seems to establish that evolved emergent properties are causally efficacious, and propose a compatibilist solution. Finally, I very briefly consider what the proposed model may imply for the issue of mental causation. (shrink)
The dispositional properties encountered in everyday experience seem to have causal bases in other properties, e.g., the microstructure of a vase is the causal basis of its fragility. In contrast, the Pure Dispositions Thesis maintains that some dispositions require no causal basis. This thesis faces the Problem of Being: without a causal basis, there appears to be no grounds for the existence of pure dispositions. This paper establishes criteria for evaluating the problem, critically examines four theories of the (...) being of pure dispositions, and develops an explanation of how a pure disposition grounds itself via its own power. (shrink)
Suppose that X and Y can’t possibly exist apart in reality; then—by definition—there’s no real distinction between them, only a conceptual distinction. There’s a conceptual distinction between a rectilinear figure’s triangularity and its trilaterality, for example, but no real distinction. In fundamental metaphysics there is no real distinction between an object’s categoricalproperties and its dispositional properties. So too there is no real distinction between an object and its properties. And in fundamental metaphysics, for X and (...) Y to be such that there is no real distinction between them is for them to be identical. (shrink)
What has the dispositional analysis of properties and laws (e.g. Molnar, Powers, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003; Mumford, Laws in nature, Routledge London, 2004; Bird, Nature’s metaphysics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2007) to offer to the scientific understanding of physical properties?—The article provides an answer to this question for the case of spacetime points and their metrical properties in General Relativity. The analysis shows that metrical properties are not ‘powers’, i.e. they cannot be understood as producing the (...) effects of spacetime on matter with metaphysical necessity. Instead they possess categorical characteristics which, in connection with specific laws, explain those effects. Thus, the properties of spacetime do not favor the metaphysics of powers with respect to properties and laws. (shrink)
This book aims to develop a philosophical theory of extrinsic properties – of properties whose instantiation by an object does not only depend on what the object itself is like, but also on features of its environment. Various accounts of the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction are analysed in detail, and it is argued that the most promising approach to defining this distinction is to consider extrinsic properties as a particular type of relational property. Moreover, it is shown that two (...) key notions in the metaphysics of properties, the supervenience relation and the dispositional/categorical distinction, whose scope is usually restricted to intrinsic properties, can fruitfully be applied to extrinsic properties as well. (shrink)
We study relationships between certain algebraic properties of groups and rings definable in a first order structure or *-closed in a compact G-space. As a consequence, we obtain a few structural results about ω-categorical rings as well as about small, nm-stable compact G-rings, and we also obtain surprising relationships between some conjectures concerning small profinite groups.
One of the traditional desiderata for a metaphysical theory of laws of nature is that it be able to explain natural regularities. Some philosophers have postulated governing laws to fill this explanatory role. Recently, however, many have attempted to explain natural regularities without appealing to governing laws. Suppose that some fundamental properties are bare dispositions. In virtue of their dispositional nature, these properties must be (or are likely to be) distributed in regular patterns. Thus it would appear that (...) an ontology including bare dispositions can dispense with governing laws of nature. I believe that there is a problem with this line of reasoning. In this essay, I’ll argue that governing laws are indispensable for the explanation of a special sort of natural regularity: those holding among categoricalproperties (or, as I’ll call them, categorical regularities). This has the potential to be a serious objection to the denial of governing laws, since there may be good reasons to believe that observed regularities are categorical regularities. (shrink)
Stephen Mumford, in his book on dispositions, argues that we can distinguish between dispositional and categoricalproperties in terms of entailing his 'conditional conditionals', which involve the concept of ideal conditions. I aim at defending Mumford's criterion for distinguishing between dispositional and categoricalproperties. To be specific, no categorical ascriptions entail Mumford's 'conditional conditionals'.
I develop a new theory of properties by considering two central arguments in the debate whether properties are dispositional or categorical. The first claims that objects must possess categoricalproperties in order to be distinct from empty space. The second argument, however, points out several untoward consequences of positing categoricalproperties. I explore these arguments and argue that despite appearances, their conclusions need not be in conflict with one another. In particular, we can (...) view the second argument as supporting only the claim that there is not a plurality of categoricalproperties, and not the stronger claim that there are no categoricalproperties whatsoever. I then develop a new account of properties which capitalizes on this insight. (shrink)
After some suggestions about how to clarify the confused metaphysical distinctions between dispositional and non-dispositional or categoricalproperties, I review some of the main interpretations of QM in order to show that – with the relevant exception of Bohm’s minimalist interpretation – quantum ontology is irreducibly dispositional. Such an irreducible character of dispositions must be explained differently in different interpretations, but the reducibility of the contextual properties in the case of Bohmian mechanics is guaranteed by the fact (...) that the positions of particles play the role of the categorical basis, a role that in other interpretations cannot be filled by anything else. In Bohr’s and Everett-type interpretations, dispositionalism is instrumentalism in disguise. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the role of dispositional properties in the most frequently discussed interpretations of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. After offering some motivation for this project, I briefly characterize the distinction between non-dispositional and dispositional properties in the context of quantum mechanics by suggesting a necessary condition for dispositionality – namely contextuality – and, consequently, a sufficient condition for non-dispositionality, namely non-contextuality. Having made sure that the distinction is conceptually sound, I then analyze the plausibility of the (...) widespread, monistic ontological thesis about the reducibility of dispositional properties to categoricalproperties in the context of the philosophy of quantum mechanics. I conclude that with the exception of Bohmian mechanics, the other “minimally realist” views of quantum mechanics require essential dispositions, i.e., dispositions of a non-reducible kind. Interestingly, seen behind the lenses of dispositionalism, Bohr’s and Bohm’s interpretations of quantum mechanics are much closer than it is usually recognized, a fact that could teach us something about the way the quantum world is. (shrink)
I argue that categorical realism, contrary to what most believe today, holds for quantum (and indeed for all) objects and substances. The main argument consists of two steps: (i) the recent experimental verification of the AB effect gives strong empirical evidence for taking quantum potentials as physically real (or substantival), which suggests a change of the data upon which any viable interpretation of quantum theory must rely, and (ii) quantum potentials may be consistently taken as the categorical (...) class='Hi'>properties of quantum objects so that categorical realism can be restored. (shrink)
In considering the nature of properties four controversial decisions must be made. (1) Are properties universals or tropes? (2) Are properties attributes of particulars, or are particulars just bundles of properties? (3) Are propertiescategorical (qualitative) in nature, or are they powers? (4) If a property attaches to a particular, is this predication contingent, or is it necessary? These choices seem to be in a great degree independent of each other. The author indicates his (...) own choices. (shrink)
It is becoming increasingly clear that the deepest problems currently exercising philosophers of mind arise from an ill-begotten ontology, in particular, a mistaken ontology of properties. After going through some preliminaries, we identify three doctrines at the heart of this mistaken ontology: (P) For each distinct predicate, “F”, there exists one, and only one, property, F, such that, if “F” is applicable to an object a, then “F” is applicable in virtue of a’s being F. (U) Properties are (...) universals, not particulars. (D) Every property is either categorical or dispositional, but not both. We show how these doctrines influence current philosophical thinking about the mind, suggest and defend an alternative conception of properties, and indicate how this conception provides answers to two puzzles besetting contemporary philosophy of mind: the problem of mental causation and the problem of qualia. (shrink)
The central theme of this paper is the dispositional/categorical distinction that has been one of the top agendas in contemporary metaphysics. I will first develop from my semantic account of dispositions what I think the correct formulation of the dispositional/categorical distinction in terms of counterfactual conditionals. It will be argued that my formulation does not have the shortcomings that have plagued previously proposed ones. Then I will turn my attention to one of its consequences, the thesis that dispositional (...)properties are not susceptible to intrinsic finks. This thesis was first advanced by me and has ever since stirred up a big controversy, endorsed by some philosophers like Handfield, Bird, and Cohen but rejected by others like Clarke and Fara. Against this background, I will remedy my defense of the impossibility of intrinsically finkable dispositions and then refute some of apparently powerful criticisms of it. And so the upshot is that it is much more reasonable to hold on to the thesis that dispositions are intrinsically unfinkable. This will have the effect of putting the dispositional/categorical distinction on firmer and more secure ground. (shrink)
Reductionists about dispositions must either say the natural properties are all dispositional or individuate properties hyperintensionally. Lewis stands in as an example of the sort of combination I think is incoherent: properties individuated by modal profile + categoricalism.
We give an axiomatic framework for the non-modular simple 0-categorical structures constructed by Hrushovski. This allows us to verify some of their properties in a uniform way, and to show that these properties are preserved by iterations of the construction.
This book advocates dispositional essentialism, the view that natural properties have dispositional essences.1 So, for example, the essence of the property of being negatively charged is to be disposed to attract positively charged objects. From this fact it follows that it is a law that all negatively charged objects will attract positively 10 charged objects; and indeed that this law is metaphysically necessary. Since the identity of the property of being negatively charged is determined by its being related in (...) a certain way to the property of being positively charged, in any world in which these properties exist they must be related so that all negatively charged objects attract positively charged objects. 15 Bird opposes his dispositional essentialism to the view that properties are categorical in nature, with their identities grounded in quiddities that are not exhausted by their relations to other properties. The main exponents of this view are D.M. Armstrong and David Lewis. They take the laws of nature to be contingent though they entertain very different views about their nature: Armstrong is a necessitarian 20 about laws, taking them to be relations of nomic necessitation between universals, while Lewis is a Humean about laws who takes them to be a special kind of regularity. The book is a sustained defence of the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and laws against the competing conceptions espoused by Armstrong and Lewis. One rough way to characterize the difference between these conceptions is to say that 25 the categoricalist sees properties as passive and inert with the laws of nature being fixed independently of the nature of properties whereas, in contrast, the dispositional essentialist sees properties as active potencies from which the laws of nature automatically spring. A slightly more tendentious way to express the difference is to say, as Bird does, that the categoricalist views embrace the Humean doctrine that there are no 30 necessary connexions in nature, while the dispositional essentialist view, on the other hand, repudiates this doctrine.. (shrink)
In this paper we provide a categorical equivalence for the category \ of product algebras, with morphisms the homomorphisms. The equivalence is shown with respect to a category whose objects are triplets consisting of a Boolean algebra B, a cancellative hoop C and a map \ from B × C into C satisfying suitable properties. To every product algebra P, the equivalence associates the triplet consisting of the maximum boolean subalgebra B, the maximum cancellative subhoop C, of P, (...) and the restriction of the join operation to B × C. Although several equivalences are known for special subcategories of \ , up to our knowledge, this is the first equivalence theorem which involves the whole category of product algebras. The syntactic counterpart of this equivalence is a syntactic reduction of classical logic CL and of cancellative hoop logic CHL to product logic, and viceversa. (shrink)
In his book Powers (2003), George Molnar argues against Dispositional Monism by presenting a posteriori reasons to believe in the existence of actual categorical features. In this paper I argue that either Molnar’s project is misdirected, since the properties he concentrates on are most possibly irrelevant for the debate between Dispositional Monism and Property Dualism, or, granted that the properties he chooses are indeed relevant, his arguments cannot prove that they are categorical without begging the question (...) against Dispositional Monism. (shrink)