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Profile: Jennifer McKitrick (University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
Profile: Jennifer McKitrick
  1. Are Dispositions Causally Relevant?Jennifer Mckitrick - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):357-371.
    To determine whether dispositions are causally relevant, we have to get clear about what causal relevance is. Several characteristics of causal relevance have been suggested, including Explanatory Power, Counterfactual Dependence, Lawfullness, Exclusion, Independence, and Minimal Sufficiency. Different accounts will yield different answers about the causal relevance of dispositions. However, accounts of causal relevance that are the most plausible, for independent reasons, render the verdict that dispositions are causally relevant.
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  2. The Bare Metaphysical Possibility of Bare Dispositions.Jennifer McKitrick - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):349–369.
    Many philosophers hold that all dispositions must have independent causal bases. I challenge this view, hence defending the possibility of bare dispositions. In part 1, I explain more fully what I mean by "disposition," "causal basis," and "bare disposition." In part 2, I consider the claim that the concept of a disposition entails that dispositions are not bare. In part 3, I consider arguments, due to Prior, Pargetter, and Jackson, that dispositions necessarily have distinct causal bases. In part 4, I (...)
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  3. Rosenberg on Causation.Jennifer McKitrick - 2006 - Psyche 12 (5).
    This paper is an explication and critique of a new theory of causation found in part II of Gregg Rosenberg's _A Place for Consciousness._ According to Rosenberg's Theory of Causal significance, causation constrains indeterminate possibilities, and according to his Carrier Theory, physical properties are dispositions which have phenomenal properties as their causal bases. This author finds Rosenberg's metaphysics excessively speculative, with disappointing implications for the place of consciousness in the natural world.
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  4.  10
    Manifestations as Effects.Jennifer McKitrick - 2010 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    According to a standard characterization of dispositions, when a disposition is activated by a stimulus, a manifestation of that disposition typically occurs. For example, when flammable gasoline encounters a spark in an oxygen-rich environment, the manifestation of flammability—combustion—occurs. In the dispositions/powers literature, it is common to assume that a manifestation is an effect of a disposition being activated. (I use “disposition” and “power” interchangeably). I address two questions in this chapter: Could all manifestations be effects that involve things acquiring only (...)
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  5.  79
    A Dispositional Account of Gender.Jennifer McKitrick - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2575-2589.
    According to some philosophers, gender is a social role or pattern of behavior in a social context. I argue that these accounts have problematic implications for transgender. I suggest that gender is a complex behavioral disposition, or cluster of dispositions. Furthermore, since gender norms are culturally relative, one’s gender is partially constituted by extrinsic factors. I argue that this has advantages over thinking of gender as behavior, and has the added advantage of accommodating the possibility of an appearance/reality dissonance with (...)
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  6. Causes as Powers. [REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick, Anna Marmodoro, Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2013 - Metascience 22 (3):545-559.
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  7.  86
    Reid's Foundation for the Primary/Secondary Quality Distinction.Jennifer McKitrick - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):478-494.
    Reid offers an under-appreciated account of the primary/secondary quality distinction. He gives sound reasons for rejecting the views of Locke, Boyle, Galileo and others, and presents a better alternative, according to which the distinction is epistemic rather than metaphysical. Primary qualities, for Reid, are qualities whose intrinsic natures can be known through sensation. Secondary qualities, on the other hand, are unknown causes of sensations. Some may object that Reid's view is internally inconsistent, or unacceptably relativistic. However, a deeper understanding shows (...)
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  8.  94
    Introduction to Special Issue of Synthese: Dispositions and Laws of Nature.Jennifer McKitrick - unknown
    The Conference on Dispositions and Laws of Nature was held at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in February 2003, and by all accounts was a great success. Upon seeing the program for the conference, John Symons of Synthese thought the papers would make an excellent special issue, and so here we are. Roughly speaking, dispositions are tendencies or powers—a fragile glass’s disposition to break when struck. Laws of nature, like Newton’s laws of motion, are commonly thought to be true (...)
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  9.  77
    Dispositions and Potentialities.Jennifer McKitrick - unknown
    Dispositions and potentialities seem importantly similar. To talk about what something has the potential or disposition to do is to make a claim about a future possibilitythe "threats and promises" that fill the world (Goodman 1983, 41). In recent years, dispositions have been the subject of much conceptual analysis and metaphysical speculation. The inspiration for this essay is the hope that that work can shed some light on discussions of potentiality. I compare the concepts of disposition and potentiality, consider whether (...)
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  10.  5
    Dispositions, Causes, and Reduction.Jennifer McKitrick - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
    Dispositionality and causation are both modal concepts which have implications not just for how things are, but for how they will be or, in some sense, must be. Some philosophers are suspicious of modal concepts and would like to make do with fewer of them.1 But what are our reductive options, and how viable are they? In this paper, I try to shut down one option: I argue that dispositions are not reducible to causes. In doing so, I try not (...)
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  11. Establishing Medical Reality: Methodological and Metaphysical Issues in Philosophy of Medicine.Harold Kincaid & Jennifer McKitrick (eds.) - 2007 - Springer Publishing Company.
  12.  12
    Establishing Medical Reality: Essays in the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Biomedical Science.Kincaid Harold & McKitrick Jennifer (eds.) - 2007 - Spinger.
    This volume approaches the philosophy of medicine from the broad naturalist perspective that holds that philosophy must be continuous with, constrained by, and ...
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  13.  29
    Review of Max Kistler, Bruno Gnassounou (Eds.), Dispositions and Causal Powers[REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (7).
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  14.  26
    A Defense of the Causal Efficacy of Dispositions.Jennifer McKitrick - 2004 - SATS 5 (1):110-29.
    Disposition terms, such as 'cowardice,' 'fragility' and 'reactivity,' often appear in explanations. Sometimes we explain why a man ran away by saying that he was cowardly, or we explain why something broke by saying it was fragile. Scientific explanations of certain phenomena feature dispositional properties like instability, reactivity, and conductivity. And these look like causal explanations - they seem to provide information about the causal history of various events. Philosophers such as Ned Block, Jaegwon Kim, Elizabeth Prior, Robert Pargetter, and (...)
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  15.  18
    Gender Identity Disorder.Jennifer McKitrick - unknown
    According to the DSM IV, a person with GID is a male or female that feels a strong identification with the opposite sex and experiences considerable stress because of their actual sex (Task Force on DSM-IV and American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The way GID is characterized by health professionals, patients, and lay people belies certain assumptions about gender that are strongly held, yet nevertheless questionable. The phenomena of transsexuality and sex-reassignment surgery puts into stark relief the following question: “What does (...)
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  16.  28
    Response to Kadri Vihvelin's “Counterfactuals and Dispositions”.Jennifer McKitrick - 2012 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-4.
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  17.  16
    How to Activate a Power.Jennifer McKitrick - unknown
    According to most views of dispositions or powers, they have “triggers” or activation conditions. Fragile things break when they are struck; explosive things explode when ignited. The notion of an activation event, or “trigger,” is central to the notion of a disposition. Dispositions are defined not only by their manifestations, but also by their triggers. Not everyone who grumbles and complains counts as irritable—just those who do so with little inducement. Not everything that can be broken counts as fragile—just things (...)
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  18.  6
    Vihvelin, Kadri.Causes, Laws, and Free Will: Why Determinism Doesn’T Matter.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 284. $69.00. [REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1230-1236.
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  19.  9
    Introduction to Establishing Medical Reality: Essays in the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Biomedical Science.Harold Kincaid & Jennifer McKitrick - unknown
    Medicine has been a very fruitful source of significant issues for philosophy over the last 30 years. The vast majority of the issues discussed have been normative—they have been problems in morality and political philosophy that now make up the field called bioethics. However, biomedical science presents many other philosophical questions that have gotten relatively little attention, particularly topics in metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of science. This volume focuses on problems in these areas as they surface in biomedical science. Important (...)
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  20.  7
    Dispositional Pluralism.Jennifer McKitrick - 2009 - In Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 186-203.
    In this paper, I make the case for the view that there are many different kinds of dispositions, a view I call dispositional pluralism. The reason I think that this case needs to be made is to temper the tendency to make sweeping generalization about the nature of dispositions that go beyond conceptual truths. Examples of such generalizations include claims that all dispositions are intrinsic, essential, fundamental, or natural.! In order to counter this tendency, I will start by noting the (...)
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  21.  3
    Review: Kadri Vihvelin, Causes, Laws, and Free Will: Why Determinism Doesn’T Matter. [REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1230-1236.
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  22.  4
    Book Review: Gideon Yaffee, Manifest Activity: Thomas Reid's Theory of Action[REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick - unknown
    Gideon Yaffee’s Manifest Activity is an important contribution to both the studies of Thomas Reid’s views and action theory. Reid is known as an early advocate of an agent-causal view of free will; more recent advocates include Roderick Chisholm. Manifest Activity is a well-appreciated effort at bringing Reid’s particular version of agent-causalism and his arguments for it into the contemporary discussion. Manifest Activity should be of interest to Reid scholars, action theorists, and anyone who wants to explore a focused, critical (...)
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  23.  4
    Liberty, Gender, and the Family.Jennifer McKitrick - unknown
    DISCUSSIONS OF JUSTICE within the classical liberal, libertarian tradition have been universalist. They have aspired to apply to any human community, whatever the makeup of its membership. Certainly some feminists have taken issue with this, arguing that the classical liberal, libertarian understanding of justice fails to address the concerns of women, indeed, does women an injustice. Among these we find Susan Moller Okin, and it will be my task in this essay to explore whether Okin's criticism is well founded. Susan (...)
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  24.  9
    Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception - by Ryan Nichols. [REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick - 2008 - Philosophical Books 49 (3):257-261.
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    1 Triggers.Jennifer McKitrick - 2013 - In Stephen Mumford & Matthew Tugby (eds.), Metaphysics and Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 123.
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  26. Reid's Foundation for the Primary\Textfractionsolidus{}Secondary Quality Distinction.Jennifer Mckitrick - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):476-494.
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  27. The Metaphysics of Dispositions.Jennifer Mckitrick - 1999 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    As Nelson Goodman put it, things are full of threats and promises. A fragile glass, for example, is prone to shatter when struck. Fragility is the glass's disposition, shattering is the manifestation of the disposition, and striking is the circumstances of manifestation. The properties of a fragile glass which are causally efficacious for shattering constitute the causal basis of the glass's fragility. The glass can remain fragile even if it never shatters. One can say of the fragile glass, with certain (...)
     
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