Dispositions without Conditionals

Mind 123 (489):129-156 (2014)
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Abstract

Dispositions are modal properties. The standard conception of dispositions holds that each disposition is individuated by its stimulus condition(s) and its manifestation(s), and that their modality is best captured by some conditional construction that relates stimulus to manifestation as antecedent to consequent. I propose an alternative conception of dispositions: each disposition is individuated by its manifestation alone, and its modality is closest to that of possibility — a fragile vase, for instance, is one that can break easily. The view is expounded in some detail and defended against the major objections.

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Barbara Vetter
Freie Universität Berlin

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