Powers, Processes, and Time

Erkenntnis (6):1-25 (2021)
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In this paper I argue that even the most radical metaphysics of powers (such as that adopted by Mumford & Anjum, Cartwright, or Groff) are compatible with eternalism. I first offer a taxonomy of powers ontologies, and attempt to characterise the difference between moderate and radical powers ontologies – the latter are characterised by an emphasis on production and dynamicity. I consider an argument by C. Friebe to the effect that the productive character of powers is inconsistent with Eternalism and find it wanting. I then elucidate the notion of dynamicity that radical powers theorists employ by making apparent their link with an ontology of irreducible processes. Finally, I respond to an argument by Donatella Donati to the effect that eternalism entails a reductive account of change which is inconsistent with process ontologies, and show that the the two are compatible. I conclude that we have no reason to think that radical powers metaphysics (and, a fortiori, every powers ontology) are not compatible with eternalism.

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Giacomo Giannini
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf


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