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Powers, dispositions and laws of nature

In Meincke (ed.), Dispositionalism: Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science (Synthese Library). Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 171-188 (2020)

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  1. Laws of Nature.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2024 - In A. R. J. Fisher & Anna-Sofia Maurin (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Properties. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 337-346.
    Properties have an important role in specifying different views on laws of nature: virtually any position on laws will make some reference to properties, and some of the leading views even reduce laws to properties. This chapter will first outline what laws of nature are typically taken to be and then specify their connection to properties in more detail. We then move on to consider three different accounts of properties: natural, essential, and dispositional properties, and we shall see that different (...)
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  • Abduction and the Scientific Realist Case for Properties.Matthew Tugby - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 98 (1):123-145.
    Traditionally, many arguments for realism about properties rely on a priori claims. The author argues that if we make use of an abductive principle that is commonly employed by scientific realists, a new argument for property realism can be formulated which is based firmly in scientific practice. The abductive principle says that we should believe in the existence of certain theoretical entities if they figure in the best explanation for what scientists observe. The scientific argument for property realism then says (...)
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  • Affordances and their ontological core.Fumiaki Toyoshima, Adrien Barton & Jean-François Ethier - 2022 - Applied ontology 17 (2):285-320.
    The notion of affordance remains elusive, notwithstanding its importance for the representation of agency, cognition, and behaviors. This paper lays down a foundation for an ontology of affordances by elaborating the idea of “core affordance” which would serve as a common ground for explaining existing diverse conceptions of affordances and their interrelationships. For this purpose, it analyzes M. T. Turvey’s dispositional theory of affordances in light of a formal ontology of dispositions. Consequently, two kinds of so-called “core affordances” are proposed: (...)
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  • How to be a powers theorist about functional laws, conservation laws and symmetries.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 180 (1):317-332.
    This paper defends an account of the laws of nature in terms of irreducibly modal properties (aka powers) from the threat posed by functional laws, conservation laws and symmetries. It thus shows how powers theorists can avoid ad hoc explanations and resist an inflated ontology of powers and governing laws. The key is to understand laws not as flowing from the essences of powers, as per Bird (2007), but as features of a description of how powers are possibly distributed, as (...)
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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 modal status of the laws of nature. Tahko’s hybrid view and the kinematical/dynamical distinction.Salim Hireche, Niels Linnemann, Robert Michels & Lisa Vogt - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-15.
    In a recent paper, Tuomas Tahko has argued for a hybrid view of the laws of nature, according to which some physical laws are metaphysically necessary, while others are metaphysically contingent. In this paper, we show that his criterion for distinguishing between these two kinds of laws — which crucially relies on the essences of natural kinds — is on its own unsatisfactory. We then propose an alternative way of drawing the metaphysically necessary/contingent distinction for laws of physics based on (...)
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  • Disentangling Dispositions from Powers.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2022 - Dialogue 61 (1):107-121.
    Many powers-realists assume that the powers of objects are identical with the dispositions of objects and, hence, that ‘power’ and ‘disposition’ are interchangeable. In this article, I aim to disentangle dispositions from powers with the goal of getting a better sense of how powers and dispositions relate to one another. I present and defend a modest realism about dispositions built upon a standard strong realism about powers. I argue that each correct disposition-ascription we can make of an object is made (...)
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