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  1. The laws of modality.Matthew Tugby - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2597-2618.
    Nomic realists have traditionally put laws to work within a theory of natural modality, in order to provide a metaphysical source for causal necessitation, counterfactuals, and dispositions. However, laws are well-suited to perform other work as well. Necessitation is a widespread phenomenon and includes cases of categorial, conceptual, grounding, mathematical and normative necessitation. A permissive theory of universals allows us to extend nomic realism into these other domains. With a particular focus on grounding necessitation, it is argued that the sorts (...)
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  • Rescuing Dispositionalism From the Ultimate Problem: Reply to Barker and Smart.Matthew Tugby - 2012 - Analysis 72 (4):723-731.
    Barker and Smart have argued that dispositional monism is just as susceptible to the ultimate regress problem as Armstrong’s contingent necessitation view of laws. In this response, I consider what implications this conclusion has for the dispositional essentialist project more generally. I argue that it is the monistic aspect of dispositional monism, rather than the dispositional essentialist aspect, which is the source of the problem raised by Barker and Smart. I then outline a version of dispositional essentialism which avoids the (...)
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  • Armstrong’s Theory of Laws and Causation: Putting Things Into Their Proper Places.S. M. Hassan A. Shirazi - 2018 - Problemos 94:61.
    [full article, abstract in English; abstract in Lithuanian] Armstrong’s theory of laws and causation may be articulated as something like the following, which we may refer to as the received view: “Laws are intrinsic higher-order relations of ensuring between properties. The instantiation of laws is identical with singular causation. This identity is a posteriori.” Opponents and advocates of this view, believe that it may fairly and correctly be attributed to Armstrong. I do not deny it; instead I seek to reconsider (...)
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  • Parsing the Rainbow.Pendaran Roberts - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1793-1811.
    Navigating the ontology of color used to be a simple affair. There was the naive view that colors really are in objects the way they appear, and the view that they are secondary qualities to cause certain experiences in us. Today, there are myriad well-developed views but no satisfactory taxonomy of philosophical theories on color. In this article, I first examine the two newest taxonomies on offer and argue that they are inadequate. In particular, I look at Brogaard’s taxonomy and (...)
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  • New Foundations of Dispositionalism - Introduction.Andrea Raimondi & Lorenzo Azzano - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-26.
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  • An Armstrongian defense of dispositional monist accounts of laws of nature.Mousa Mohammadian - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (3):1-15.
    Bird reveals an important problem at the heart of Armstrong’s theory of laws of nature: to explain how a law necessitates its corresponding regularity, Armstrong is committed to a vicious regress. In his very brief response, Armstrong gestures towards an argument that, as he admits, is more of a “speculation.” Later, Barker and Smart argue that a very similar problem threatens Bird’s dispositional monist theory of laws of nature and he is committed to a similar vicious regress. In this paper, (...)
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  • Manifestation and Unrestricted Dispositional Monism.Vassilis Livanios - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (2):179-196.
    Most metaphysicians agree that powers can exist without being manifested. The main goal of this paper is to show that adherents of an unrestricted version of Dispositional Monism cannot provide a plausible metaphysical account of the difference between a situation in which a power-instance is not manifested and a situation in which a manifestation of that power-instance actually occurs unless they undermine their own view. To this end, two kinds of manifestation-relation are introduced and it is argued that dispositional monists (...)
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  • Reconsidering the Dispositional Essentialist Canon.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3421-3441.
    Dispositional Essentialism is a unified anti-Humean account of the metaphysics of low-level physical properties and laws of nature. In this paper, I articulate the view that I label Canonical Dispositional Essentialism, which comprises a structuralist metaphysics of properties and an account of laws as relations in the property structure. I then present an alternative anti-Humean account of properties and laws. This account rejects CDE’s structuralist metaphysics of properties in favour of a view of properties as qualitative grounds of dispositions and (...)
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  • Pandispositionalism and the metaphysics of powers.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-21.
    Some philosophers maintain that physical properties are irreducibly modal: that properties are powers. Powers are then employed to provide explanations of other phenomena of philosophical interest such as laws of nature and modality. There is, however, a dispute among powers theorists about how far the powers ontology extends: are all manner of properties at all levels of fundamentality powers or are powers only to be found among the fundamental properties? This paper argues that the answer to this question depends on (...)
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  • Laws of Nature: Necessary and Contingent.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):875-895.
    This paper shows how a niche account of the metaphysics of laws of nature and physical properties—the Powers-BSA—can underpin both a sense in which the laws are metaphysically necessary and a sense in which it is true that the laws could have been different. The ability to reconcile entrenched disagreement should count in favour of a philosophical theory, so this paper constitutes a novel argument for the Powers-BSA by showing how it can reconcile disagreement about the laws’ modal status. This (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Laws and Explanation.Siegfried Jaag - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6085-6102.
    In this paper, we argue that the popular claim that laws of nature explain their instances creates a philosophical puzzle when it is combined with the widely held requirement that explanations need to be underpinned by ‘wordly’ relations. We argue that a “direct solution” to the puzzle that accounts for both explanatory laws and explanatory realism requires endorsing at least a radical metaphysics. Then, we examine the ramifications of a “skeptical solution”, i.e., dissolving it by giving up at least one (...)
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  • No Laws and (Thin) Powers in, No (Governing) Laws Out.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    Non-Humean accounts of the metaphysics of nature posit either laws or powers in order to account for natural necessity and world-order. We argue that such monistic views face fundamental problems. On the one hand, neo-Aristotelians cannot give unproblematic power-based accounts of the functional laws among quantities offered by physical theories, as well as of the place of conservation laws and symmetries in a lawless ontology; in order to capture these characteristics, commitment to governing laws is indispensable. On the other hand, (...)
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  • The Strong Arm of the Law: A Unified Account of Necessary and Contingent Laws of Nature.Salim Hirèche, Niels Linnemann, Robert Michels & Lisa Vogt - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (3-4):10211-10252.
    A common feature of all standard theories of the laws of nature is that they are "absolutist": They take laws to be either all metaphysically necessary or all contingent. Science, however, gives us reason to think that there are laws of both kinds, suggesting that standard theories should make way for "non-absolutist" alternatives: theories which accommodate laws of both modal statuses. In this paper, we set out three explanatory challenges for any candidate non-absolutist theory and discuss the prospects of the (...)
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  • Individuation and Explanation: A Problem for Dispositionalism.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3863-3883.
    According to dispositionalism, fundamental properties are dispositions—powers that don’t reduce to other properties, laws, or anything else. As dispositions manifest, natural regularities result, so this view appears to explain the uniformity of nature. However, in this paper I’ll argue that there are types of regularities that can’t be explained by dispositionalism. The basic idea is this. All accounts of fundamental dispositions endow properties with a certain sort of structure. This allows explanations of only those regularities that align with such structures. (...)
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  • New Powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (384):1-30.
    Establishing Dispositionalism as a viable theory of modality requires the successful fulfilment of two tasks: showing that all modal truths can be derived from truths about actual powers, and offering a suitable metaphysics of powers. These two tasks are intertwined: difficulties in one can affect the chances of success in the other. In this paper, I generalise an objection to Dispositionalism by Jessica Leech and argue that the theory in its present form is ill-suited to account for de re truths (...)
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  • Second-Order Relations and Nomic Regularities.Toby Friend - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (10):3089-3107.
    Bird’s Ultimate Argument sought to show that Armstrong’s N relationships involving categorical universals can’t entail nomic regularities. In N’s place Bird offered the non-categorical SR relation. Two kinds of objection have been raised: either Bird’s own alternative metaphysics fails in just the same way as Armstrong’s or the target of Bird’s argument may anyway have a way out of the problem. My aim is to reclaim the victory for Bird. I argue that the responses in defence of Armstong’s N relationships (...)
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  • On Powers BSAs.Toby Friend - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Can the desire for efficiently systematised theories in science be explained from within a powers metaphysics? It is plausible that the traditional ‘Powers Theory of Laws’, endorsed by many friends of powers, does not alone provide such an explanation. This has led a number of recent authors to argue that a ‘Powers Best System Account’ of laws would be a preferable alternative. This account borrows a method for determining laws from the Humean and applies it to a reality of powers. (...)
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  • Dispositions Manifest Themselves: An Identity Theory of Properties.Kristina Engelhard - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13497-13522.
    The aim of this paper is to motivate a view on dispositions according to which dispositions and their manifestations are partially identical, the DM identity theory. It sets out by extrapolating the desiderata of a dispositionalist account of properties. It then shows that the previous theories are burdened with different problems, whose common cause, so the argument goes, is the separation assumption, which almost all share. It states that dispositions and their manifestations are numerically distinct. The paper then explores whether (...)
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  • Unmanifested Powers and Universals.Ashley Coates - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    According to a well-known argument against dispositional essentialism, the nature of unmanifested token powers leaves dispositional essentialists with an objectionable commitment to the reality of non-existent entities. The idea is that, because unmanifested token powers are directed at their non-existent token manifestations, they require the reality of those manifestations. Arguably the most promising response to this argument works by claiming that, if properties are universals, dispositional directedness need only entail the reality of actually existing manifestation types. I argue that this (...)
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  • Essence and the Inference Problem.Ashley Coates - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):915-931.
    Discussions about the nature of essence and about the inference problem for non-Humean theories of nomic modality have largely proceeded independently of each other. In this article I argue that the right conclusions to draw about the inference problem actually depend significantly on how best to understand the nature of essence. In particular, I argue that this conclusion holds for the version of the inference problem developed and defended by Alexander Bird. I argue that Bird’s own argument that this problem (...)
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  • Asymmetry Cannot Solve the Circularity/Regress Problem of Property Structuralism.Ralf Busse - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10685-10720.
    Strong dispositional monism, the position that all fundamental physical properties consist in dispositional relations to other properties, is naturally construed as property structuralism. J. Lowe’s circularity/regress objection constitutes a serious challenge to SDM that questions the possibility of a purely relational determination of all property essences. The supervenience thesis of A. Bird’s graph-theoretic asymmetry reply to CRO can be rigorously proved. Yet the reply fails metaphysically, because it reveals neither a metaphysical determination of identities on a purely relational basis nor (...)
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  • The Emperor's New Metaphysics of Powers.Stephen Barker - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):605-653.
    This paper argues that the new metaphysics of powers, also known as dispositional essentialism or causal structuralism, is an illusory metaphysics. I argue for this in the following way. I begin by distinguishing three fundamental ways of seeing how facts of physical modality — facts about physical necessitation and possibility, causation, disposition, and chance — are grounded in the world. The first way, call it the first degree, is that the actual world or all worlds, in their entirety, are the (...)
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  • What is the Nature of Properties?Lorenzo Azzano - 2014 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 5 (2):27-42.
    In the recent debate about the nature of properties, dispositional essentialism, which claims that a property possesses its powers essentially, seems to provide an interesting alternative to the quite simple and problematic view that properties are to be identified through primitive qualities, quidditates. However, it is not easy to characterize explicitly and uncontroversially dispositional essentialism, in particular when it comes to the treatment of powers. A further reference to primitive qualities may prove to be unavoidable, thus suggesting a medium between (...)
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  • Dispositional Essentialism and the Grounding of Natural Modality.Siegfried Jaag - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Dispositional essentialism is a non-Humean view about the essences of certain fundamental or natural properties that looms large in recent metaphysics , not least because it promises to explain neatly the natural modalities such as laws of nature, counterfactuals, causation and chance. In the current paper, however, several considerations are presented that indicate a serious tension between its essentialist core thesis and natural “metaphysical” interpretations of its central explanatory claims.
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