Humean dispositionalism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):113-126 (2008)
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Abstract

Humean metaphysics is characterized by a rejection of necessary connections between distinct existences. Dispositionalists claim that there are basic causal powers. The existence of such properties is widely held to be incompatible with the Humean rejection of necessary connections. In this paper I present a novel theory of causal powers that vindicates the dispositionalist claim that causal powers are basic, without embracing brute necessary connections. The key assumptions of the theory are that there are natural types of causal processes, and that manifestations of powers are identified with certain kinds of causal processes. From these assumptions, the modal features of powers are explained in terms of internal relations between powers themselves and the process-types in which powers are manifested

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Toby Handfield
Monash University

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