The Powers View of Properties, Fundamental Ontology, and Williams’s Arguments for Static Dispositions

Erkenntnis 84 (2):437-453 (2019)
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Abstract

This paper examines the need for static dispositions within the basic ontology of the powers view of properties. To lend some focus, Neil Williams’s well developed case for static dispositions is considered. While his arguments are not necessarily intended to address fundamental ontology, they still provide a useful starting point, a springboard for diving into the deeper metaphysical waters of the dispositionalist approach. Within that ontological context, this paper contends that Williams’s arguments fail to establish the need to posit static dispositions, or at least any sort not already well appreciated by advocates of the powers view. The paper then proceeds to suggest an alternative motivation for positing static dispositions, the success of which depends greatly on which ontological approach to objects is paired with the powers view.

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