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  1. The Dispositional Essentialist View of Properties and Laws.Anjan Chakravartty - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):393 – 413.
    One view of the nature of properties has been crystallized in recent debate by an identity thesis proposed by Shoemaker. The general idea is that there is for behaviour. Well-known criticisms of this approach, however, remain unanswered, and the details of its connections to laws nothing more to being a particular causal property than conferring certain dispositions of nature and the precise ontology of causal properties stand in need of development. This paper examines and defends a dispositional essentialist account of (...)
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  • What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on the orthodox and (...)
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  • Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality.Barbara Vetter - 2015 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Individual objects have potentials: paper has the potential to burn, an acorn has the potential to turn into a tree, some people have the potential to run a mile in less than four minutes. Barbara Vetter provides a systematic investigation into the metaphysics of such potentials, and an account of metaphysical modality based on them. -/- In contemporary philosophy, potentials have been recognized mostly in the form of so-called dispositions: solubility, fragility, and so on. Vetter takes dispositions as her starting (...)
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  • Logic for Philosophy.Theodore Sider - 2010 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Logic for Philosophy is an introduction to logic for students of contemporary philosophy. It is suitable both for advanced undergraduates and for beginning graduate students in philosophy. It covers (i) basic approaches to logic, including proof theory and especially model theory, (ii) extensions of standard logic that are important in philosophy, and (iii) some elementary philosophy of logic. It emphasizes breadth rather than depth. For example, it discusses modal logic and counterfactuals, but does not prove the central metalogical results for (...)
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  • Causality and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
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  • Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Professional philosophers and advanced students working in metaphysics and the philosophy of science will find this book both provocative and stimulating.
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  • Metaphysics of Science.Julia Göhner & Markus Schrenk - 2019 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Metaphysics of Science is the philosophical study of key concepts that figure prominently in science and that, prima facie, stand in need of clarification. It is also concerned with the phenomena that correspond to these concepts. Exemplary topics within Metaphysics of Science include laws of nature, causation, dispositions, natural kinds, possibility and necessity, explanation, reduction, emergence, grounding, and space and time. Metaphysics of Science is a subfield of both metaphysics and the philosophy of science—that is, it can be allocated to (...)
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  • Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
    In his new foreword to this edition, Hilary Putnam forcefully rejects these nativist claims.
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  • Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Philosophy 31 (118):268-269.
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  • Causal Production as Interaction.Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2002 - Metaphysica 3 (1):87-119.
    The paper contains a novel realist account of causal production and the necessary connection between cause and effect. I argue that the asymmetric relation between causally connected events must be regarded as a product of a symmetric interaction between two or more entities. All the entities involved contribute to the producing, and so count as parts of the cause, and they all suffer a change, and so count as parts of the effect. Cause and effect, on this account, are two (...)
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  • Dispositions and Interferences.Gabriele Contessa - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):401-419.
    The Simple Counterfactual Analysis (SCA) was once considered the most promising analysis of disposition ascriptions. According to SCA, disposition ascriptions are to be analyzed in terms of counterfactual conditionals. In the last few decades, however, SCA has become the target of a battery of counterexamples. In all counterexamples, something seems to be interfering with a certain object’s having or not having a certain disposition thus making the truth-values of the disposition ascription and of its associated counterfactual come apart. Intuitively, however, (...)
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  • The Powerlessness of Necessity.Markus Schrenk - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):725-739.
    This paper concerns anti-Humean intuitions about connections in nature. It argues for the existence of a de re link that is not necessity.Some anti-Humeans tacitly assume that metaphysical necessity can be used for all sorts of anti-Humean desires. Metaphysical necessity is thought to stick together whatever would be loose and separate in a Hume world, as if it were a kind of universal superglue.I argue that this is not feasible. Metaphysical necessity might connect synchronically co-existent properties—kinds and their essential features, (...)
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  • A Case for Extrinsic Dispositions.J. McKitrick - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):155 – 174.
    Many philosophers think that dispositions are necessarily intrinsic. However, there are no good positive arguments for this view. Furthermore, many properties (such as weight, visibility, and vulnerability) are dispositional but are not necessarily shared by perfect duplicates. So, some dispositions are extrinsic. I consider three main objections to the possibility of extrinsic dispositions: the Objection from Relationally Specified Properties, the Objection from Underlying Intrinsic Properties, and the Objection from Natural Properties. These objections ultimately fail.
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  • Testability and Meaning. --.Rudolf Carnap - 1937 - S.N.
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  • The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
    Dispositional essentialists argue that physical properties have their causal roles essentially. This is typically taken to mean that physical properties are identical to dispositions. I argue that this is untenable, and that we must instead say that properties bestow dispositions. I explore what it is for a property to have such a role essentially. Dispositional essentialists argue for their view by citing certain epistemological and metaphysical implications, and I appeal to these implications to place desiderata on the concept of essence (...)
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  • What is a Law of Nature?David M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    First published in 1985, D. M. Armstrong's original work on what laws of nature are has continued to be influential in the areas of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Presenting a definitive attack on the sceptical Humean view, that laws are no more than a regularity of coincidence between stances of properties, Armstrong establishes his own theory and defends it concisely and systematically against objections. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Marc (...)
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  • A World of States of Affairs.D. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.
    In this important study D. M. Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical metaphysics that synthesises but also develops his thinking over the last twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the 'logical atomism' of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts the fundamental constituents of the world, examining properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions, causes and laws. All these, it is argued, find their place and can be understood inside a scheme of states of affairs. This is a comprehensive and (...)
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  • Dispositions, Conditionals, and Counterexamples.D. Manley & R. Wasserman - 2011 - Mind 120 (480):1191-1227.
    In an earlier paper in these pages (2008), we explored the puzzling link between dispositions and conditionals. First, we rehearsed the standard counterexamples to the simple conditional analysis and the refined conditional analysis defended by David Lewis. Second, we attacked a tempting response to these counterexamples: what we called the ‘getting specific strategy’. Third, we presented a series of structural considerations that pose problems for many attempts to understand the link between dispositions and conditionals. Finally, we developed our own account (...)
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  • Dispositions and Habituals.Michael Fara - 2005 - Noûs 39 (1):43–82.
    Objects have dispositions. As Nelson Goodman put it, “a thing is full of threats and promises”. But sometimes those threats go unfulfilled, and the promises unkept. Sometimes the dispositions of objects fail to manifest themselves, even when their conditions of manifestation obtain. Pieces of wood, disposed to burn when heated, do not burn when heated in a vacuum chamber. And pastries, disposed to go bad when left lying around too long, won’t do so if coated with lacquer and put on (...)
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  • Intrinsic Finks and Dispositional/Categorical Distinction.Sungho Choi - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):289-325.
    The central theme of this paper is the dispositional/categorical distinction that has been one of the top agendas in contemporary metaphysics. I will first develop from my semantic account of dispositions what I think the correct formulation of the dispositional/categorical distinction in terms of counterfactual conditionals. It will be argued that my formulation does not have the shortcomings that have plagued previously proposed ones. Then I will turn my attention to one of its consequences, the thesis that dispositional properties are (...)
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  • Dispositions and Antidotes.Alexander Bird - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (191):227-234.
    In ‘Finkish Dispositions’1 David Lewis proposes an analysis of dispositions which improves on the simple conditional analysis. In this paper I show that Lewis’ analysis still fails. I also argue that repairs are of no avail, and suggest why this is so.
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  • The Mind in Nature.C. B. Martin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    What are the most fundamental features of the world? Do minds stand outside the natural order? Is a unified picture of mental and physical reality possible? The Mind in Nature provides a staunchly realist account of the world as a unified system incorporating both the mental and the physical.
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  • Dispositional Modality Vis‐À‐Vis Conditional Necessity.Anna Marmodoro - 2016 - Philosophical Investigations 39 (2):205-214.
    There is an ongoing debate in the metaphysics of dispositions regarding which type of modality governs their manifestation. This paper assumes as its default position the view that dispositions manifest by conditional necessity; that is, when in appropriate circumstances dispositions manifest necessarily. From this standpoint, the paper engages critically with an existing alternative in the literature, put forward most prominently by Mumford and Anjum, and known as dispositional modality. According to this latter view, even when in appropriate manifestation conditions, dispositions (...)
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  • Dispositional Modality Vis‐À‐Vis Conditional Necessity.Anna Marmodoro - 2016 - Philosophical Investigations 39 (3):205-214.
    There is an ongoing debate in the metaphysics of dispositions regarding which type of modality governs their manifestation. This paper assumes as its default position the view that dispositions manifest by conditional necessity; that is, when in appropriate circumstances dispositions manifest necessarily. From this standpoint, the paper engages critically with an existing alternative in the literature, put forward most prominently by Mumford and Anjum, and known as dispositional modality. According to this latter view, even when in appropriate manifestation conditions, dispositions (...)
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  • Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    George Molnar came to see that the solution to a number of the problems of contemporary philosophy lay in the development of an alternative to Hume's metaphysics. This alternative would have real causal powers at its centre. Molnar set about developing a thorough account of powers that might persuade those who remained, perhaps unknowingly, in the grip of Humean assumptions. He succeeded in producing something both highly focused and at the same time wide-ranging. He showed both that the notion of (...)
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  • A Dispositional Theory of Possibility.Andrea Borghini & Neil E. Williams - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):21–41.
    – The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...)
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  • Getting Causes From Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Causation is everywhere in the world: it features in every science and technology. But how much do we understand it? Mumford and Anjum develop a new theory of causation based on an ontology of real powers or dispositions. They provide the first detailed outline of a thoroughly dispositional approach, and explore its surprising features.
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  • Of Liberty and Necessity.Thomas Hobbes - 1938 - Kiel, Printed by Schmidt & Klaunig for the Chairman of the Hobbes-Society.
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  • A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this important study D. M. Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical metaphysics that synthesises but also develops his thinking over the last twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the 'logical atomism' of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts the fundamental constituents of the world, examining properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions, causes and laws. All these, it is argued, find their place and can be understood inside a scheme of states of affairs. This is a comprehensive and (...)
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  • Powers:A Study in Metaphysics: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar (ed.) - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    George Molnar came to see that the solution to a number of the problems in contemporary philosophy lay in the development of an alternative to Hume's metaphysics, with real causal powers at its center. Molnar's eagerly anticipated book setting out his theory of powers was almost complete when he died, and has been prepared for publication by Stephen Mumford, who provides a context-setting introduction.
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  • From an Ontological Point of View.John Heil - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    From an Ontological Point of View is a highly original and accessible exploration of fundamental questions about what there is. John Heil discusses such issues as whether the world includes levels of reality; the nature of objects and properties; the demands of realism; what makes things true; qualities, powers, and the relation these bear to one another. He advances an account of the fundamental constituents of the world around us, and applies this account to problems that have plagued recent work (...)
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  • Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientific Essentialism defends the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on the essential properties of the things on which they are said to operate, and are therefore not independent of them. These laws are not imposed upon the world by God, the forces of nature or anything else, but rather are immanent in the world. Ellis argues that ours is a dynamic world consisting of more or less transient objects which are constantly interacting with each other, and whose (...)
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  • Causality and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause. D. Reidel. pp. 109-35.
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  • Against Quidditism.Robert Black - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (1):87 – 104.
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  • Powers: Necessity and Neighborhoods.Neil Williams - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (4):357-372.
    It is commonplace among friends of irreducible causal powers to depict powers as producing their characteristic manifestations as a matter of metaphysical necessity. That is to say that when a power finds itself in those circumstances that stimulate it, it cannot help but be exercised: its effects must occur. The result is a metaphysic that depicts the world not as loose and separate but as united by the strongest glue; this is but one way in which the world as understood (...)
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  • Causation.D. Lewis - 1973 - In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213.
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  • Causation as a Secondary Quality.Peter Menzies & Huw Price - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):187-203.
    In this paper we defend the view that the ordinary notions of cause and effect have a direct and essential connection with our ability to intervene in the world as agents.1 This is a well known but rather unpopular philosophical approach to causation, often called the manipulability theory. In the interests of brevity and accuracy, we prefer to call it the agency theory.2 Thus the central thesis of an agency account of causation is something like this: an event A is (...)
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  • Counterfactuals as Strict Conditionals.Andrea Iacona - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (41):165-191.
    This paper defends the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Its purpose is to show that there is a coherent view according to which counterfactuals are strict conditionals whose antecedent is stated elliptically. Section 1 introduces the view. Section 2 outlines a response to the main argument against the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Section 3 compares the view with a proposal due to Aqvist, which may be regarded as its direct predecessor. Sections 4 and 5 explain how the (...)
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  • The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    What does reality encompass? Is it exclusively physical, or does it include mental and 'abstract' aspects? What are the elements of being, reality's raw materials? John Heil offers stimulating answers to these questions framed in terms of a comprehensive metaphysics of substances and properties inspired by Descartes, Locke, and their successors.
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  • Events as Property Exemplifications.Jaegwon Kim - 1976 - In M. Brand & D. Walton (eds.), Action Theory. D. Reidel. pp. 310-326.
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  • Powerful Properties and the Causal Basis of Dispositions.Max Kistler - 2011 - In Alexander Bird, B. D. Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge. pp. 119--137.
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  • Properties: Qualities, Powers, or Both?Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (1):55-80.
    Powers are popularly assumed to be distinct from, and dependent upon, inert qualities, mainly because it is believed that qualities have their nature independently of other properties while powers have their nature in virtue of a relation to distinct manifestation property. George Molnar and Alexander Bird, on the other hand, characterize powers as intrinsic and relational. The difficulties of reconciling the characteristics of being intrinsic and at the same time essentially related are illustrated in this paper and it is argued (...)
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  • Recent Work on Dispositions.Troy Cross - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):115-124.
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  • Antidotes for Dispositional Essentialism.Markus Schrenk - 2010 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    Since the mid-90s dispositionalism, the view that dispositions are irreducible, real properties, gained strength due to forceful counterexamples (finks and antidotes) that could be launched against Humean anti-dispositionalist attempts to reductively analyse dispositional predicates. -/- In the light of these anti-Humean successes, and in combination with ideas surrounding metaphysical necessity put forward by Kripke and Putnam, some dispositionalists felt encouraged to propose a strong anti-Humean view under the name of “Dispositional Essentialism”. -/- In this paper, I show that, ironically, the (...)
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  • Causes and Conditions.J. L. Mackie - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245 - 264.
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  • Dispositions.Shungho Choi & Michael Fara - 2012 - The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is a perfect overview article that serves as a general introduction to the topic of dispositions. It is composed of six sections that review the main philosophical approaches to the most important questions: Analysis of disposition ascription, the dispositional/categorical distinction, dispositions and categorical bases, the intrinsicness of dispositions and the causal efficacy of dispositions.
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  • Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar & Stephen Mumford - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):674-677.
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  • [Handout 12].J. L. Mackie - unknown
    1. Causal knowledge is an indispensable element in science. Causal assertions are embedded in both the results and the procedures of scientific investigation. 2. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate the meaning of causal statements and the ways in which we can arrive at causal knowledge.
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  • From an Ontological Point of View.John Heil - 2003 - Philosophy 79 (309):491-494.
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  • Dispositional Modality.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - In C. F. Gethmann (ed.), Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft, Deutsches Jahrbuch Philosophie 2. Meiner Verlag.
    There has been much discussion of powers or real dispositions in the past decade, but there remains an issue that has been inadequately treated. This concerns the precise modal value that comes with dispositionality. We contend in this paper that dispositionality involves a non-alethic, sui generis, irreducible modality. Dispositions only tend towards their manifestations; they do not necessitate them. Tendency is, of course, a dispositional term itself, so this last statement offers little by way of illumination. But given our thesis (...)
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