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Dispositions in Philosophy and Physics

A bibliography of online papers

  1. R. L. Anjum and S. Mumford, A Powerful Theory of Causation, in The Metaphysics of Powers, A. Marmodoro, ed., Routledge, Aug. 2010, pp. 143-159.
    Hume thought that if you believed in powers, you believed in necessary connections in nature. He was then able to argue that there were none such because anything could follow anything else. But Hume wrong-footed his opponents. A power does not necessitate its manifestations: rather, it disposes towards them in a way that is less than necessary but more than purely contingent. In this paper a dispositional theory of causation is offered. Causes dispose towards their effects and often produce them. But a set of causes, even though they may succeed in producing an effect, cannot necessitate it since the effect could have been counteracted by some additional power. This would require a separation of our concepts of causal production and causal necessitation. The most conspicuous cases of causation are those where powers accumulate and pass a requisite threshold for an effect to occur. We develop a model for representing powers as constituent vectors within an n-dimensional quality space, where composition of causes appears as vector addition. Even our resultant vector, however, has to be understood as having dispositional force only. This model throws new light on causal modality and cases of prevention, causation by absence and probabilistic causation., (pdf).

  2. R. L. Anjum, J. A. Myrstad, and S. Mumford, Conditional probability from an ontological point of view.
    There is quite a low probability that you will die shortly after reading this paper: within 20 minutes, for instance. Nevertheless, one might still grant that there is a high conditional probability that you will die shortly after reading this paper, if you jump out of a fifth-floor window, or if a tiger is released into the room. How do we know this, and what does it mean? Our answers depend on what we take to be the correct understanding of conditional probability. But it also depends on our philosophical understanding of probability, the logic of conditionals and on our wider metaphysical commitments., (Web, pdf).

  3. D. M. Armstrong, Dispositions are causes, Analysis, 30 (1969), pp. 23-26.

  4. D. Barnett, The myth of the categorical counterfactual, Philosophical Studies, 144 (2009), pp. 281-296.
    I aim to show that standard theories of counterfactuals are mistaken, not in detail, but in principle, and I aim to say what form a tenable theory must take. Standard theories entail a categorical interpretation of counterfactuals, on which to state that, if it were that A, it would be that C is to state something, not relative to any supposition or hypothesis, but categorically. On the rival suppositional interpretation, to state that, if it were that A, it would be that C is to state that it would be that C relative to the supposition that it were that A. The two interpretations make incompatible predictions concerning the correct evaluation of counterfactuals. I argue that the suppositional interpretation makes the correct prediction., (pdf).

  5. A. Bartels, Why metrical properties are not powers, Synthese, (2011), pp. 1-13.
    What has the dispositional analysis of properties and laws (e.g. Molnar, Powers, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003; Mumford, Laws in nature, Routledge, London, 2004; Bird, Nature's metaphysics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2007) to offer to the scientific understanding of physical properties?--The article provides an answer to this question for the case of spacetime points and their metrical properties in General Relativity. The analysis shows that metrical properties are not `powers', i.e. they cannot be understood as producing the effects of spacetime on matter with metaphysical necessity. Instead they possess categorical characteristics which, in connection with specific laws, explain those effects. Thus, the properties of spacetime do not favor the metaphysics of powers with respect to properties and laws., (pdf).

  6. W. Bauer, The Ontology of Pure Dispositions, Philosophy Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research, (2010), p. 3.
    This dissertation defends and develops the thesis that some instances, or tokens, of dispositional properties are pure. A pure disposition has no causal basis in any further properties beyond the disposition. A causal basis typically consists of some set of properties underlying a disposition that enables the disposition to manifest when stimulated in the appropriate circumstances. For example, a vase is fragile because it is disposed to break when a hammer or other suitable object strikes it, where the causal basis for fragility is the underlying micro-structure of the vase. Moreover, micro-structural properties of the vase seem to anchor the continuous existence of the vase's fragility when the vase is not actually breaking. In contrast to the neo-Humean metaphysical assumption that any disposition requires a causal basis in further properties, as in the example of fragility, the Pure Dispositions Thesis denies this. This dissertation achieves four goals. First, it defends the Pure Dispositions Thesis from notable objections: the Powers Regress Argument, the Insufficient Causal Basis Argument, the Argument from the Identity Thesis, and the Argument from Spatial Occupation. Second, it evaluates several theories of the continuous existence of pure dispositions, and argues that some pure dispositions are self-grounded via a minimally sufficient occurrence of their own power. Third, it presents two arguments that some pure dispositions are extrinsically grounded, the Argument from the Higgs Field and the Argument from Priority Monism, and deflects numerous objections to those arguments. Finally, it develops and defends an account of systems of pure dispositions, arguing that a pure dispositional system may generate higher-level categorical and dispositional properties by way of an emergence mechanism involving the union of two pure dispositions., (pdf).

  7. W. A. Bauer, Dispositional Essentialism and the Nature of Powerful Properties, Disputatio, 5 (2013).
    Dispositional essentialism maintains that all sparse properties are essentially powerful. Two conceptions of sparse properties appear compatible with dispositional essentialism: sparse properties as pure powers or as powerful qualities. This paper compares the two views, criticizes the powerful qualities view, and then develops a new theory of pure powers, termed Point Theory. This theory neutralizes the main advantage powerful qualities appear to possess over pure powers--explaining the existence of powers during latency periods. The paper discusses the relation between powers and space-time points, whether pure powers need to occupy space, and how to account for the movement of pure powers through space-time. Given Point Theory, dispositional essentialists should maintain that sparse properties are pure powers., (Web, pdf).

  8. J. Bennett, Substratum, History of Philosophy quarterly, (1987), pp. 197-215.
    (Web, pdf).

  9. T. Bigaj, Dispositional Monism and the Circularity Objection, Metaphysica, 11 (2010), pp. 39-47.
    Three basic positions regarding the nature of fundamental properties are: dispositional monism, categorical monism and the mixed view. Dispositional monism apparently involves a regress or circularity, while an unpalatable consequence of categorical monism and the mixed view is that they are committed to quidditism. I discuss Alexander Bird's defence of dispositional monism based on the structuralist approach to identity. I argue that his solution does not help standard dispositional essentialism, as it admits the possibility that two distinct dispositional properties can possess the same stimuli and manifestations. Moreover, Bird's argument can be used to support the mixed view by relieving it of its commitment to quidditism. I briefly analyse an alternative defence of dispositional essentialism based on Leon Horsten's approach to the problem of circularity and impredicativity. I conclude that the best option is to choose Bird's solution but amend the dispositional perspective on properties. According to my proposal, the essences of dispositions are determined not directly by their stimuli and manifestations but by the role each property plays in the structure formed by the stimulus/manifestation relations., (Web, pdf).

  10. T. Bigaj, Ungrounded Dispositions in Quantum Mechanics, Foundations of Science, 17 (2011), pp. 205-221.
    General metaphysical arguments have been proposed in favour of the thesis that all dispositions have categorical bases (Armstrong; Prior, Pargetter, Jackson). These arguments have been countered by equally general arguments in support of ungrounded dispositions (Molnar, Mumford). I believe that this controversy cannot be settled purely on the level of abstract metaphysical considerations. Instead, I propose to look for ungrounded dispositions in specific physical theories, such as quantum mechanics. I explain why non-classical properties such as spin are best interpreted as irreducible dispositional properties, and I give reasons why even seemingly classical properties, for instance position or momentum, should receive a similar treatment when interpreted in the quantum realm. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I argue that quantum dispositions should not be limited to probabilistic dispositions (propensities) by showing reasons why even possession of well-defined values of parameters should qualify as a dispositional property. I finally discuss the issue of the actuality of quantum dispositions, arguing that it may be justified to treat them as potentialities whose being has a lesser degree of reality than that of classical categorical properties, due to the incompatibility relations between non-commuting observables., (Web, pdf).

  11. T. Bigaj, How to evaluate counterfactuals in the quantum world, Synthese, 190 (2012), pp. 619-637.
    In the article I discuss possible amendments and corrections to Lewis's semantics for counterfactuals that are necessary in order to account for the indeterministic and non-local character of the quantum world. I argue that Lewis's criteria of similarity between possible worlds produce incorrect valuations for alternate-outcome counterfactuals in the EPR case. Later I discuss an alternative semantics which rejects the notion of miraculous events and relies entirely on the comparison of the agreement with respect to individual facts. However, a controversy exists whether to include future indeterministic events in the criteria of similarity. J. Bennett has suggested that an indeterministic event count toward similarity only if it is a result of the same causal chain as in the actual world. I claim that a much better agreement with the demands of the quantum-mechanical indeterminism can be achieved when we stipulate that possible worlds which differ only with respect to indeterministic facts that take place after the antecedent-event should always be treated as equally similar to the actual world. In the article I analyze and dismiss some common-sense counterexamples to this claim. Finally, I critically evaluate Bennett's proposal regarding the truth-conditions for true-antecedent counterfactuals., (Web, pdf).

  12. A. Bird, Causation And The Manifestation Of Powers.

  13. A. Bird, Essences And Natural Kinds.

  14. A. Bird, Necessarily, salt dissolves in water, Analysis, 61 (2001), p. 267.
    In this paper I aim to show that a certain law of nature, namely that common salt (sodium chloride) dissolves in water, is metaphysically necessary. The importance of this result is that it conflicts with a widely shared intuition that the laws of nature (most if not all) are contingent. There have been debates over whether some laws, such as Newton's second law, might be definitional of their key terms and hence necessary., (pdf).

  15. A. Bird, On whether some laws are necessary, Analysis, 62 (2002), pp. 257-270.
    In 'Necessarily, salt dissolves in water' (Analysis 61 (2001)), I argued that because the laws required for the existence of salt entail the laws that ensure dissolving in water, there is no possible world in which salt exists but fails to dissolve in water. In this paper I respond to criticisms from Helen Beebee and Stathis Psillos (Analysis 62 (2002))., (Web, pdf).

  16. A. Bird, Antidotes all the way down?, Theoria, 19 (2004), pp. 259-269.
    Dispositions are related to conditionals. Typically a fragile glass will break if struck with force. But possession of the disposition does not entail the corresponding simple (subjunctive or counterfactual) conditional. The phenomena of finks and antidotes show that an object may possess the disposition without the conditional being true. Finks and antidotes may be thought of as exceptions to the straightforward relation between disposition and conditional. The existence of these phenomena are easy to demonstrate at the macro-level. But do they exist at the fundamental level also? While fundamental finkish dispositions may be excluded fairly straightforwardly, the existence of fundamental antidotes is more open. Nonetheless I conclude that the phenomenon is likely to be less widespread than at the macro level and that fundamental antidotes may be eliminable. According to the dispositional essentialist, the laws of nature can be explained by taking natural properties to be essentially dispositional. This account can be extended to show that the existence of finks and antidotes explains ceteris paribus laws. Consequently the existence or otherwise of fundamental finks and antidotes sheds some light on the question of whether fundamental laws may also be ceteris paribus laws., (pdf).

  17. A. Bird, Laws and essences, Ratio, 18 (2005), pp. 437-461.
    Those who favour an ontology based on dispositions are thereby able to provide a dispositional essentialist account of the laws of nature. In part 1 of this paper I sketch the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and the concomitant account of laws. In part 2, I characterise various claims about the modal character of properties that fall under the heading `quidditism' and which are consequences of the categoricalist view of properties, which is the alternative to the dispositional essentialist view. I argue that quidditism should be rejected. In part 3, I address a criticism of a strong dispositional essentialist view, viz. that `structural' (i.e. geometrical, numerical, spatial and temporal) properties must be regarded as categorical., (pdf).

  18. A. Bird, The Dispositionalist Conception of Laws, Foundations of Science, 10 (2005), pp. 353-370.
    This paper sketches a dispositionalist conception of laws and shows how the dispositionalist should respond to certain objections. The view that properties are essentially dispositional is able to provide an account of laws that avoids the problems that face the two views of laws (the regularity and the contingent nomic necessitation views) that regard properties as categorical and laws as contingent. I discuss and reject the objections that (i) this view makes laws necessary whereas they are contingent; (ii) this view cannot account for certain kinds of laws of nature and their properties., (Web, pdf).

  19. A. Bird, The ultimate argument against Armstrong's contingent necessitation view of laws, Analysis, 65 (2005), pp. 147-155.
    show that Armstrong's view of laws as second-order contingent relations of `necessitation' among categorical properties faces a dilemma. The necessitation relation confers a relation of extensional inclusion (`constant conjunction') on its relata. It does so either necessarily or contingently. If necessarily, it is not a categorical relation (in the relevant sense). If contingently, then an explanation is required of how it confers extensional inclusion. That explanation will need to appeal to a third-order relation between necessitation and extensional inclusion. The same dilemma reappears at this level. Either Armstrong must concede that some properties are not categorical but have essential powers - or he is faced with a regress., (pdf).

  20. A. Bird, Unexpected a posteriori necessary laws of nature, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 83 (2005), pp. 533-548.

  21. A. Bird, Potency and modality, Synthese, 149 (2006), pp. 491-508.
    Let us call a property that is essentially dispositional a potency. David Armstrong thinks that potencies do not exist. All sparse properties are essentially categorical, where sparse properties are the explanatory properties of the type science seeks to discover. An alternative view, but not the only one, is that all sparse properties are potencies or supervene upon them. In this paper I shall consider the differences between these views, in particular the objections Armstrong raises against potencies., (pdf).

  22. A. Bird, Causal exclusion and evolved emergent properties, Revitalizing causality: Realism about causality in philosophy and social science. New York: Routledge, (2007).
    Emergent properties are intended to be genuine, natural higher level causally efficacious properties irreducible to physical ones. At the same time they are somehow dependent on or `emergent from' complexes of physical properties, so that the doctrine of emergent properties is not supposed to be return to dualism. The doctrine faces two challenges: (i) to explain precisely how it is that such properties emerge--what is emergence; (ii) to explain how they sidestep the exclusion problem--how it is that there is room for these properties to be causally efficacious, given the causal completeness of the physical. In this paper I explain how evolved functional properties can meet both challenges., (pdf).

  23. A. Bird, Lange And Laws, Kinds, And Counterfactuals, (2009), pp. 1-9.
    In this paper I examine and question Marc Lange's account of laws, and his claim that the law delineating the range of natural kinds of fundamental particle has a lesser grade of necessity that the laws connecting the fundamental properties of those kinds with their derived properties., (pdf).

  24. A. Bird, Monistic Dispositional Essentialism, In: Properties, Powers and Structures: Issues in the metaphysics of realism. ed. / Alexander Bird; Brian Ellis; Howard Sankey. New York NY : Routledge, 2011. p. 35-41., (2011), pp. 1-6.
    In this paper I explain why I favour a metaphysics in which all fundamental natural properties are essentially dispositional. First, by considering what a world might be like that has no laws, I argue that properties can necessitate laws, and that this is best explained by dispositional essentialism concerning those properties. I then argue that we should not regard any properties as being exceptions in this respect: and so all fundamental natural properties are essentially dispositional., (Web, pdf).

  25. A. Borghini and N. E. Williams, A Dispositional Theory of Possibility, dialectica, 62 (2008), pp. 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 grounded in the dispositions exemplified in it. 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. Furthermore, by starting from actual dispositional properties and branching out, we are able to countenance possibilities quite far removed from any state of affairs that happens to obtain, while still providing a natural and actual grounding of possibility. Stressing the importance of ontological considerations in any theory of possibility, it is argued that the account of possibility in terms of dispositional properties provides a more palatable ontology than those of its competitors. Coming at it from the other direction, the dispositional account of possibility also provides motivation for taking an ontology of dispositions more seriously., (pdf).

  26. D. Bradshaw, Dispositions and ontology, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 41 (2003), pp. 169-182.
    One might have assumed that the increase, in recent years, in the number of writers willing to defend the ontological status of dispositions is evidence that the reductionist positions have lost favor.' Instead, we see reductionism regarding the dispositional holding its own. The debate rages on, and not without good reason.2Reductionists often seem to occupy the dialectical high ground, especially when one considers how typically unwieldy or uninformative are the nonreductionist alternatives., (Web, pdf).

  27. L. S. Carrier, Aristotelian Materialism, Philosophia, 34 (2006), pp. 253-266.
    I argue that a modern gloss on Aristotle's notions of Form and Matter not only allows us to escape a dualism of the psychological and the physical, but also results in a plausible sort of materialism. This is because Aristotle held that the essential nature of any psychological state, including perception and human thought, is to be some physical property. I also show that Hilary Putnam and Martha Nussbaum are mistaken in saying that Aristotle was not a materialist, but a functionalist. His functionalism should instead be given a materialistic interpretation, since he holds that only the appropriate sort of matter can realize the human psyche. Aristotle's functionalism is therefore best viewed as a ``causal functionalism,'' in which functional descriptions enable us to find the right sort of material embodiment. By sidestepping dualistic assumptions, Aristotle also avoids having to deal with any further notion of consciousness., (pdf).

  28. N. Cartwright, How the Laws of Physics Lie, 1983.
    Nancy Cartwright argues for a novel conception of the role of fundamental scientific laws in modern natural science. If we attend closely to the manner in which theoretical laws figure in the practice of science, we see that despite their great explanatory power these laws do not describe reality. Instead, fundamental laws describe highly idealized objects in models. Thus, the correct account of explanation in science is not the traditional covering law view, but the `simulacrum' account. On this view, explanation is a matter of constructing a model that may employ, but need not be consistent with, a theoretical framework, in which phenomenological laws that are true of the empirical case in question can be derived. Anti‐realism about theoretical laws does not, however, commit one to anti‐realism about theoretical entities. Belief in theoretical entities can be grounded in well‐tested localized causal claims about concrete physical processes, sometimes now called `entity realism'. Such causal claims provide the basis for partial realism and they are ineliminable from the practice of explanation and intervention in nature., (Web, pdf).

  29. A. Chakravartty, Inessential Aristotle: Powers Without Essences, Draft.
    A groundswell of recent work in philosophy has sought to revitalize the analysis of causation by appealing to ``active principles'' such as powers, dispositions, capacities, tendencies, and propensities. These principles are described in a realist and rather Aristotelian fashion, in stark contrast to the deflationary and linguistic accounts of such principles characteristic of Humean thought and empiricist thinking more generally. Natures, essences, powers, and de re necessity are back in the analysis of causation. I do not argue in this paper for the plausibility of the revitalization project in general; instead, I explain how I think one aspect of it must be understood if the project is to be plausible. I suggest that those who are moved to resist Humean austerity and embrace a realism about things such as causal powers should take care in how they formulate this realism. Some Aristotelian notions, such as the concept of a causal power, may well be useful to modern studies of causation. Others, such as the notion that causal powers are determined by essences which comprise the natures of things, are outmoded in many sciences today. This paper focuses specifically on the notions of power and essence in the context of causation. Contra some of the most important recent proponents of the revitalization project, I contend that causal generalizations are not generally best understood as determined by the essential properties of natural kinds. How a member of a kind (natural or otherwise) behaves causally may be a function of its causal powers, but such powers need not constitute anything like the ``essence'' of a kind., (Web, pdf).

  30. A. Chakravartty, The dispositional essentialist view of properties and laws, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 11 (2003), pp. 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 causal properties, combining a Shoemaker-type identity thesis with a Dretske, Tooley, and Armstrong-type view that laws are relations between properties, and a realism about dispositions. The property identity thesis is defended against standard epistemological and metaphysical objections. The metaphysics of causal properties is then clarified by a consideration of the laws relating them, vacuous laws, and ceteris paribus law statements., (Web).

  31. D. D. Chene, Suárez on propinquity and the efficient cause, Suárez Conference, Western Ontario, (2008), pp. 1-17.
    In the Principles, Descartes declares that of the four Aristotelian causes, he will retain only one: the efficient. Though some natural philosophers argued on behalf of the final cause, and others held that form could be rehabilitated, the efficient cause was in fact the only one of the four to flourish in the new philosophy. Descartes' claim would lead one to believe that he preserved the efficient cause--that here, at least, we find continuity. But it is reasonable to wonder whether, when from a fourfold classification three members are removed, the fourth can remain unaltered., (pdf).

  32. G. Contessa, Only Powers Can Confer Dispositions, The Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to power theorists, all (fundamental, perfectly natural) properties (or at least all fundamental, perfectly natural properties that confer dispositions) are powers--i.e. they necessarily confer on their bearers certain dispositions. Although dispositional essentialism is increasingly gaining popularity, a vast majority of analytic metaphysicians still favors what I call `the nomic theory'--i.e. the view that which dispositions a property confers on its bearers is contingent on what the laws of nature happen to be. This paper argues that the nomic theory is inconsistent, for, if it were correct, then properties would not confer any dispositions on their bearers--they would only appear to do so (just like how in cases of mimicking the objects do not really have the relevant dispositions, they merely appear to have them). If my arguments are sound, then the nomic theory is incoherent and ultimately collapses into what I call `neo-occasionalism' and dispositional essentialism turns out to be the only available option for those who believe that properties genuinely confer dispositions on their bearers., (Web, pdf).

  33. G. Contessa, Do Extrinsic Dispositions Need Extrinsic Causal Bases?, Draft, (2010), pp. 1-13.
    In this paper, I distinguish two often-conflated theses--the thesis that all dispositions are intrinsic properties and the thesis that the causal bases of all dispositions are intrinsic properties--and argue that the falsity of the former does not entail the falsity of the latter. In particular, I argue that extrinsic dispositions are a counterexample to first thesis but not necessarily to the second thesis, because an extrinsic disposition does not need to include any extrinsic property in its causal basis. I conclude by drawing some general lessons about the nature of dispositions and their relation to their causal bases., (pdf).

  34. G. Contessa, Dispositions and interferences, Philosophical Studies, 165 (2013), pp. 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 its associated counterfactual come apart. Intuitively, however, it would seem that, if all interferences were absent, the disposition ascription and its associated conditional would have the same truth-value. Although this idea may seem obvious, it is far from obvious how to define the notion of `interference' in a clear and non-circular manner. In fact, it is has become widely assumed that it is not possible to do so. In this paper, I will argue that this assumption is wrong. I will develop an analysis of disposition ascriptions, the Interference-Free Counterfactual Analysis (IFCA), which relies on a clear and non-circular definition of the notion of interference and which avoids the standard counterexamples to SCA while vindicating the intuition that disposition ascriptions and counterfactual conditionals are intimately related., (Web, pdf).

  35. T. Cross, Recent Work on Dispositions, Analysis, 72 (2012), pp. 115-124.
    Controversy about dispositions ranges over the following four domains: (i) the semantics of disposition ascriptions; (ii) the distinction between dispositional and categorical properties; (iii) the metaphysical status of dispositions, i.e. their fundamentality, naturalness and intrinsicness; and (iv) the various dispositional analyses of philosophical notions like causation, laws, modality, counterfactuals, chance, knowledge, freedom, belief, desire and colour. While the proper order of investigation among these areas is itself a matter of dispute, the semantics of disposition ascriptions is the de facto point of entry., (Web, pdf).

  36. M. Dorato, Dispositions, Relational Properties and the Quantum World, (2003).
    Given the controversial status of the various interpretations of non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM for short), it may seem crazy to use the philosophy of quantum physics to try to learn some lessons about the prevailing problems in the literature on dispositions and causal powers. However, such an attempt seems worthwhile for at least three reasons., (Web, pdf).

  37. M. Dorato, Properties and dispositions: some metaphysical remarks on quantum ontology, Quantum Mechanics(AIP Conference Proceedings), 844 (2006), pp. 139-157.
    After some suggestions about how to clarify the confused metaphysical distinctions between dispositional and non-dispositional or categorical properties, I review some of the main interpretations of QM in order to show that - with the relevant exception of Bohm's minimalist interpretation - quantum ontology is irreducibly dispositional. Such an irreducible character of dispositions must be explained differently in different interpretations, but the reducibility of the contextual properties in the case of Bohmian mechanics is guaranteed by the fact that the positions of particles play the role of the categorical basis, a role that in other interpretations cannot be filled by anything else. In Bohr's and Everett-type interpretations, dispositionalism is instrumentalism in disguise., (Web, pdf).

  38. M. Dorato, Do Dispositions and Propensities Have a Role in the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics? Some Critical Remarks, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, Sept. 2010, pp. 197-219.
    In trying to understand the role of propensities or dispositions, if any, in the interpretations of quantum mechanics (henceforth QM), I think that one can do no better than start from a fundamental question once posed by John S. Bell: `What are quantum probabilities probabilities of?', (Web, pdf).

  39. M. Dorato, How to combine and not to combine physics and metaphysics, Forthcoming In The Proceedings Of The Epsa 2011 Athens Conference, (2012), pp. 1-15.
    In this paper I will argue that if physics is to become a coherent metaphysics of nature it needs an ``interpretation''. As I understand it, an interpretation of a physical theory amounts to offering (1) a precise formulation of its ontological claims and (2) a clear account of how such claims are related to the world of our experience. Notably, metaphysics enters importantly in both tasks: in (1), because interpreting our best physical theories requires going beyond a merely instrumentalist view of science; in (2), because a philosophical elaboration of the theories of the world that are implicit in our experience is one of the tasks of analytic metaphysics, and bridging possible explanatory gaps or even conflicts between the physical image and the manifest image of the world (Sellars 1963) is a typical philosophical task that involves both science and metaphysics., (pdf).

  40. M. Dorato, Dynamical versus structural explanations in scientific revolutions, (2014).
    By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up ..., (Web, pdf).

  41. M. Dorato and M. Esfeld, GRW as an ontology of dispositions, Studies In History And Philosophy Of Modern Physics, 41 (2010), pp. 41-49.
    The paper argues that the formulation of quantum mechanics proposed by Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (GRW) is a serious candidate for being a fundamental physical theory and explores its ontological commitments from this perspective. In particular, we propose to conceive of spatial superpositions of non-massless microsystems as dispositions or powers, more precisely propensities, to generate spontaneous localizations. We set out five reasons for this view, namely that (1) it provides for a clear sense in which quantum systems in entangled states possess properties even in the absence of definite values; (2) it vindicates objective, single-case probabilities; (3) it yields a clear transition from quantum to classical properties; (4) it enables to draw a clear distinction between purely mathematical and physical structures, and (5) it grounds the arrow of time in the time-irreversible manifestation of the propensities to localize., (Web, pdf).

  42. M. Dorato and M. Esfeld, The metaphysics of laws: dispositionalism vs. primitivism,, (2014).
    The paper compares dispositionalism about laws of nature with primitivism. It argues that while the distinction between these two positions can be drawn in a clear-cut manner in classical mechanics, it is less clear in quantum mechanics, due to quantum non-locality. Nonetheless, the paper points out advantages for dispositionalism in comparison to primitivism also in the area of quantum mechanics, and of contemporary physics in general., (Web, pdf).

  43. A. Drewery, A note on science and essentialism, Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia, 19 (2004), pp. 311-320.
    This paper discusses recent attempts to use essentialist arguments based on the work of Kripke and Putnam to ground causal necessity in the world. I argue in particular that a recent argument by Alexander Bird relies on controversial intuitions about the natures of substances which no Humean would accept. While a case can be made that essentialism reflects some assumptions within scientific practice, the same can be said of Humeanism, and ultimately neither Bird's arguments, nor any empirical facts, can decide the question either way., (Web, pdf).

  44. A. Drewery, Essentialism and the Necessity of the Laws of Nature, Synthese, 144 (2005), pp. 381-396.
    In this paper I discuss and evaluate different arguments for the view that the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. I conclude that essentialist arguments from the nature of natural kinds fail to establish that essences are ontologically more basic than laws, and fail to offer an a priori argument for the necessity of all causal laws. Similar considerations carry across to the argument from the dispositionalist view of properties, which may end up placing unreasonable constraints on property identity across possible worlds. None of my arguments preclude the possibility that the laws may turn out to be metaphysically necessary after all, but I argue that this can only be established by a posteriori scientific investigation. I therefore argue for what may seem to be a surpris- ing conclusion: that a fundamental metaphysical question the modal status of laws of nature depends on empirical facts rather than purely on a priori reasoning.
    (Web, pdf).

  45. A. Eagle, Twenty-one arguments against propensity analyses of probability, Erkenntnis, 60 (2004), pp. 371-416.

  46. A. Eagle, Causal Structuralism, Dispositional Actualism, and Counterfactual Conditionals, (2008), pp. 1-26.
    Dispositional essentialists are typically committed to two claims: that properties are individuated by their causal role (`causal structuralism'), and that natural necessity is to be explained by appeal to these causal roles (`dispositional actualism'). I argue that these two claims cannot be simultaneously maintained; and that the correct response is to deny dispositional actualism. Causal structuralism remains an attractive position, but doesn't in fact provide much support for dispositional essentialism., (pdf).

  47. C. L. Elder, Alexander's Dictum and the Reality of Familiar Objects, Topoi, 22 (2003), pp. 163-171.
    Alexander's Dictum at first appears to be entirely reasonable, and almost too bland to be of interest. Who could possibly want to claim reality for entities which cannot, even in principle, produce any manifestation of their existence? It seems hard to deny that there might be some such entities, lurking somewhere in the world. So perhaps Alexander's Dictum should not be regarded as a constitutive principle of ontology. But its status as a regulative principle seems unassailable., (pdf).

  48. B. Ellis, Causal Laws and Singular Causation, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 61 (2000), pp. 329-351.
    In this paper it will be argued that causal laws describe the actions of causal powers. The process which results from such an action is one which belongs to a natural kind, the essence of which is that it is a display of this causal power. Therefore, if anything has a given causal power necessarily, it must be naturally disposed to act in the manner prescribed by the causal law describing the action of this causal power. In the formal expressions of causal laws, the necessity operators occur within the scopes of the universal quantifiers. Hence the necessities must hold of each instance. The causal laws may thus be shown to be concerned with necessary connections between events or circumstances of precisely the sort required for a decent account of singular causation., (Web, pdf).

  49. B. Ellis, Physical Realism, Ratio, 18 (2005), pp. 371-384.
    Physical realism is the thesis that the world is more or less as present-day physical theory says it is, i.e. a mind-independent reality, that consists fundamentally of physical objects that have causal powers, are located in space and time, belong to natural kinds, and interact causally with each other in various natural kinds of ways. It is thus a modern form of physicalism that takes due account of the natural kinds structure of the world. It is a thesis that many present-day scientific realists would surely accept. Indeed, some might say that physical realism just is scientific realism, but under another name. However, the argument that is presented for physical realism is not the standard one for scientific realism. It is not a two-stage argument from the success of science to the truth of scientific theories to the reality of the entities postulated in these theories. It is more powerful than this, because it is more direct, and its premisses are more secure. It is more direct, because it develops what is basically a physicalist ontology as the only plausible metaphysical explanation of the new scientific image of the world. It is more secure, in that it does not depend, as the standard argument does, on any doubtful generalisations about the nature or role of scientific theory., (pdf).

  50. B. Ellis and C. Lierse, Dispositional essentialism, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 72 (1994), pp. 27-45.
    Dispositions, Mellor once remarked, are as shameful in many eyes as pregnant spinsters used to be, 'ideally to be explained away, or entitled to a shotgun wedding to take the name of some decently real categorical property'. This 'Victorian prejudice' against dispositions still exists. On reflection, this fact is perhaps not really surprising. Dispositions have dallied in most corners of the metaphysical arena, mixing unashamedly in the (not always respectable) company of behaviourism, counterfactuals, induction, nomic necessity, and causation. For dispositions to be taken seriously, it is argued, they need to ground themselves in some decent categorical bases; for only then can their claim to be genuine properties be respected., (Web, pdf).

  51. M. Esfeld, Humean metaphysics versus a metaphysics of powers, Time, Chance and Reduction, (2010), p. 119.
    The paper considers the opposition between Humean metaphysics and the metaphysics of powers, focusing on laws, probabilities and causation. It argues that within Humean metaphysics, everything is a matter of contingency. Consequently, there is no deep metaphysical difference between a deterministic world and a world in which only probabilistic laws hold. This position is contrasted with the foundations of probabilities according to the metaphysics of powers, in particular the view that traces probabilities back to propensities. The paper then goes into arguments for these positions, recalling first the central argument against Humean metaphysics, and then claiming that, contrary to a widespread belief, the metaphysics of powers is compatible with physics and is able to provide for an ontology that does justice to both physics and the special sciences., (Web, pdf).

  52. M. Esfeld, Physics and causation, Foundations of Physics, 40 (2010), pp. 1597-1610.
    The paper makes a case for there being causation in the form of causal properties or causal structures in the domain of fundamental physics. That case is built in the first place on an interpretation of quantum theory in terms of state reductions so that there really are both entangled states and classical properties, GRW being the most elaborate physical proposal for such an interpretation. I then argue that the interpretation that goes back to Everett can also be read in a causal manner, the splitting of the world being conceivable as a causal process. Finally, I mention that the way in which general relativity theory conceives the metrical field opens up the way for a causal conception of the metrical properties as well., (Web, pdf).

  53. J. H. Fetzer, World of dispositions, Synthese, 34 (1977), pp. 397-421.
    (Web, pdf).

  54. J. C. Fisher, Dispositions, Conditionals and Auspicious Circumstances , Philosophical Studies, 164 (2012), pp. 443-464.
    A number of authors have suggested that a conditional analysis of dispositions must take roughly the following form: Thing X is disposed to produce response R to stimulus S just in case, if X were exposed to S and surrounding circumstances were auspicious, then X would produce R. The great challenge is cashing out the relevant notion of `auspicious circumstances'. I give a general argument which entails that all existing conditional analyses fail, and that there is no satisfactory way to define `auspicious circumstances' just in terms of S, R, and X. Instead, I argue that the auspicious circumstances C for the manifestation of a disposition constitute a third irreducible element of that disposition, and that to pick out (or to `individuate') that disposition one must specify C along with S and R. This enables a new conditional analysis of dispositions that gives intuitively satisfying answers in cases that pose problems for other approaches., (Web, pdf).

  55. S. R. Ford, Objects, Discreteness, and Pure Power Theories:, Metaphysica, 13 (2012), pp. 195-215.
    Sydney Shoemaker's causal theory of properties is an important starting place for some contemporary metaphysical perspectives concerning the nature of properties. In this paper, I discuss the causal and intrinsic criteria that Shoemaker stipulates for the identity of genuine properties and relations, and address George Molnar's criticism that holding both criteria presents an unbridgeable hypothesis in the causal theory of properties. The causal criterion requires that properties and relations contribute to the causal powers of objects if they are to be deemed genuine rather than `mere-Cambridge'. The intrinsic criterion requires that all genuine properties and relations be intrinsic. Molnar's S-property argument says that these criteria conflict if one considers extrinsic spatiotemporal properties and relations to contribute causally. In this paper, I argue that a solution to the contradiction that Molnar identifies involves a denial of discreteness between objects, leading to a power holist perspective and a resulting deflationary account of intrinsicality., (pdf).

  56. R. Gomatam, Classical and quantum probabilities are accepted to be fundamentally of different origin, in Probabilities, Propensity and Corroboration, D. P. Chattopadhyaya and P. Sengupta, eds., CSC, ICPR, New Delhi, Oct. 2005, pp. 1-12.

  57. N. Hall and L. A. Paul, Causation and preemption, Philosophy of science today, (2003), pp. 100-130.
    Causation is a deeply intuitive and familiar relation, gripped powerfully by common sense. Or so it seems. But as is typical in philosophy, deep intuitive familiarity has not led to any philosophical account of causation that is at once clean, precise, and widely agreed upon. Not for lack of trying: the last 30 years or so have seen dozens of attempts to provide such an account, and the pace of development is, if anything, accelerating, (Web, pdf).

  58. T. Handfield, Dispositional Essentialism and the Possibility of a Law-Abiding Miracle , The Philosophical Quarterly, 51, pp. 484-494.

  59. T. Handfield, Unfinkable dispositions, Synthese, 160 (2008), pp. 297-308.
    This paper develops two ideas with respect to dispositional properties: (1) Adapting a suggestion of Sungho Choi, it appears the conceptual distinction between dispositional and categorical properties can be drawn in terms of susceptibility to finks and antidotes. Dispositional, but not categorical properties, are not susceptible to intrinsic finks, nor are they remediable by intrinsic antidotes. (2) If correct, this suggests the possibility that some dispositions--those which lack any causal basis-- may be insusceptible to any fink or antidote. Since finks and antidotes are a major obstacle to a conditional analysis of dispositions, these dispositions that are unfinkable may be successfully analysed by the conditional analysis of dispositions. This result is of importance for those who think that the fundamental properties might be dispositions which lack any distinct causal basis, because it suggests that these properties, if they exist, can be analysed by simple conditionals and that they will not be subject to ceteris paribus laws., (pdf).

  60. T. Handfield, Dispositions, manifestations, and causal structure, in Marmodoro (2009), (2009), pp. 1-27.
    Typically - perhaps always - the manifestation of a disposition in- volves a causal process. That thought is fairly unexceptional. More interesting is the further thought that the process must be of a certain type for it to be a manifestation of a particular disposition. When salt manifests its disposition to dissolve, for instance, it seems not merely to involve an initial state in which the salt is solid, and a final state in which it is dissolved. Rather, it is important that salt undergo a distinctive kind of causal process. If the salt solution came about by a deviant process, we might say the salt was not manifesting its disposition to dissolve. For example, if we had a host of tiny nano-machines that pulled the individual ions out of the crystalline structure of sodium chloride, and then built new water molecules around those ions, the deviancy of this process makes it look like the manifestation of a rather different disposition., (pdf).

  61. T. Handfield and A. Bird, Dispositions, rules, and finks, Philosophical Studies, 140 (2008), pp. 285-298.
    This paper discusses the prospects of a dispositional solution to the Kripke-Wittgenstein rule-following puzzle. Recent attempts to repair dispositional approaches to this puzzle have appealed to the ideas of finks and antidotes interfering dispositions and conditions - to explain why the rule-following disposition is not always manifested. We argue that this approach fails: agents cannot be supposed to have straightforward dispositions to follow a rule which are in some fashion masked by other, contrary dispositions of the agent, because in all cases, at least some of the the interfering dispositions are both relatively permanent and intrinsic to the agent. The presence of these intrinsic and relatively permanent states renders the ascription of a rule-following disposition to the agent false., (pdf).

  62. R. Harre, Powers, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 21 (1970), pp. 81-101.

  63. R. Harre and E. H. Madden, Natural Powers and Powerful Natures, Philosophy, 48 (2009), pp. 209-230.
    The justification of a wholly non-Humean conceptual scheme, based upon the idea of enduring individuals with powers, rests in part on the success of such a scheme in resolving the problems bequeathed to us by the Humean tradition and in part must be achieved by a careful construction of the metaphysics of the new scheme itself. By this we mean a thorough exposition of the meaning and interrelations of the concepts of the new scheme. It is to the latter task that we turn in this paper, being satisfied that the power of the scheme to give a rational account of science has been shown, and that its effectiveness in resolving the Humean problems and dilemmas has been amply demonstrated., (Web).

  64. J. Heil, Dispositions, Synthese, 144 (2005), pp. 343-356.
    Appeals to dispositionality in explanations of phenomena in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, require that we first agree on what we are talking about. I sketch an account of what dispositionality might be. That account will place me at odds with most current conceptions of dispositionality. My aim is not to establish a weighty ontological thesis, however, but to move the discussion ahead in two respects. First, I want to call attention to the extent to which assumptions philosophers have made about dispositionality are far from innocent. The assumptions incorporate substantive theses that, by constraining the space of `acceptable' answers to particular philosophical questions, have inhibited the search for answers to those questions. Second, and more positively, I hope to open up the space of possibilities by offering an alternative way of conceiving dispositionality developed by C. B. Martin., (Web, pdf).

  65. R. Hendry and D. P. Rowbottom, Dispositional essentialism and the necessity of laws, Analysis, 69 (2009), p. 668.
    It used to be assumed, by Humeans and non-Humeans alike, that laws of nature are contingent. Indeed allowing for contingency was widely taken to be a desideratum on the acceptability of any account of natural laws. However, nomic necessitarians argue that even if laws of nature are logically contingent (so that putative law statements cannot be analytic), they are metaphysically necessary. Their arguments are typically, though not always, founded on dispositional essentialism. Dispositional essentialism about a property is the view that its essence is dispositional: the dispositions it confers are what make the property what it is, (pdf).

  66. A. Hüttemann, Causation, Laws and Dispositions, in Dispositions and Causal Powers, von Max Kistler and B. Gnassounou, eds., Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., July 2011, pp. 207-219.

  67. J. Ismael, Quantum Probability; chance , (2007), pp. 1-9.
    In contrast to classical physics, probabilities play an explicit and conspicuous role in quantum mechanics providing the link between the fundamental level of physical description and the measurement results that mark the points of empirical contact between theory and world. The nature of quantum probabilities (a.k.a., `chances'), however, has been a source of contention since the theory appeared and despite a proliferation of accounts, the metaphysical nature of chance remains unsettled. The difficulty is that there are a number of constraints on an interpretation of chance, constraints that appear to be partially definitive of the concept, and it proves to be extraordinarily difficult to meet them simultaneously. I'm going to show how those constraints give rise to an interpretive dilemma that confounds the extant options, and then propose a way out that hinges on the use of a more basic form of probability for whose existence I have argued elsewhere., (pdf).

  68. J. D. Jacobs, Causal Powers: A Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysic, PhD thesis, ProQuest, 2007.
    Causal powers, say, an electron's power to repel other electrons, are had in virtue of having properties. Electrons repel other electrons because they are negatively charged. One's views about causal powers are shaped by--and shape--one's views concerning properties, causation, laws of nature and modality. It is no surprise, then, that views about the nature of causal powers are generally embedded into larger, more systematic, metaphysical pictures of the world. This dissertation is an exploration of three systematic metaphysics, Neo-Humeanism, Nomicism and Neo-Aristotelianism. I raise problems for the first two and defend the third. A defense of a systematic metaphysics, I take it, involves appealing to pre-theoretical commitments or intuitions, and theoretical issues such as simplicity or explanatory power. While I think that Neo-Aristotelianism is the most intuitive of the available general metaphysical pictures of the world, these kinds of intuitions do not settle the matter. The most widely held of the alternative pictures, Neo-Humeanism, is accepted in great part because of its theoretical power. In contrast, a systematic Neo-Aristotelian metaphysic is, at best, nascent. The way forward for the Neo-Aristotelian, therefore, is a contribution to an ongoing research program, generating Neo-Aristotelian views of modality, causation and laws of nature from the Neo-Aristotelian understanding of causal powers. The central argument of this dissertation is that such views are defensible, and so the Neo-Aristotelian metaphysic ought to be accepted., (Web, pdf).

  69. J. D. Jacobs, Pure Powers and Powerful Qualities, forthcoming, (2010).

  70. J. D. Jacobs, Powerful qualities, not pure powers, Monist, 94 (2011), pp. 81-102.
    I explore two accounts of properties within a dispositional essentialist (or causal powers) framework, the pure powers view and the powerful qualities view. I first attempt to clarify precisely what the pure powers view is, and then raise objections to it. I then present the powerful qualities view and, in order to avoid a common misconception, offer a restatement of it that I shall call the truthmaker view. I end by briefly defending the truthmaker view against objections., (pdf).

  71. M. Jacovides, Locke's Construction of the Idea of Power, tech. rep., Feb. 2007.
    In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke offers an elegant and attractive empiricist solution to the problem of how we are able to think of powers. Let me begin by quoting the account of the origin of our idea of power and intersperse some initial exegetical remarks. Locke explains his view in the first section of his chapter on power (2.21.1). He begins by describing the attention the mind pays to various actions and changes, beginning with ``the alteration of those Simple Ideas, it observes in things without.'' The mind also notes, ``how one [outward object] comes to an end . . . and another begins to exist.'' In addition to these external observations, the mind contemplates itself. It registers the activities of external bodies and the results of internal volitions by ``reflecting . . . on what passes within it self, and observing a constant change of its Ideas, sometimes by the impression of outward Objects on the Senses, and sometimes by the Determination of its own choice.'', (pdf).

  72. C. Jenkins and D. Nolan, Disposition Impossible, (2009), pp. 1-35.
    A lot of our ordinary theorizing about the world is suffused with disposition talk, broadly construed. We classify things as fragile, explosive, poisonous, and so on. We talk freely of the capacities and abilities of things and people, and indeed we talk explicitly about dispositions (particularly of people) in everyday discourse. We will describe someone as having a friendly disposition, being well-disposed towards someone else, bring disposed to violent behaviour under certain circumstances, and so on. Theorizing in the sciences is also full of talk of dispositions, tendencies, propensities, and other phenomena that seem to be dispositional, or at least cousins of dispositional phenomena. Metals are malleable or ductile to different degrees, ecosystems are sometimes fragile, economies are sometimes prone to asset bubbles. If we were forbidden overnight to use any dispositional vocabulary, we would find it very difficult to do material science, ecology, or macroeconomics, to take just three examples, in anything like the way we ordinarily do., (Web, pdf).

  73. D. Kahneman and C. A. Varey, Propensities and counterfactuals: The loser that almost won., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59 (1990), p. 1101.
    Close Counterfactuals are alternatives to reality that "almost happened." A psychological analysis of close Counterfactuals offers insights into the underlying representation of causal episodes and the inherent uncertainty attributed to many causal systems. The perception and representation of causal episodes is organized around possible focal outcomes, evoking a schema of causal forces competing over time. We introduce a distinction between two kinds of assessments of outcome probability: dispositions, based on causal information available prior to the episode; and propensities, based on event cues obtained from the episode itself. The distinction is critical to the use of almost, which requires the attribution of a strong propensity to the counterfactual outcome. The final discussion focuses on characteristic differences between psychological and philosophical approaches to the analysis of Counterfactuals, causation, and probability., (Web, pdf)

  74. J. Katzav, Dispositions, causes, persistence as is, and general relativity.
    I argue that, on a dispositionalist account of causation and indeed on any other view of causation according to which causation is a real relation, general relativity does not give causal principles a role in explaining phenomena. In doing so, I bring out a surprisingly substantial constraint on adequate views about the explanations and ontology of general relativity, namely the requirement that such views show how general relativity can explain motion that is free of disturbing influences., (Web, pdf).

  75. J. Katzav, Dispositions and the principle of least action, Analysis, 64 (2004), pp. 206-214.
    My aim is to argue for the incompatibility of one of the central principles of physics, namely the principle of least action (PLA), with the increasingly popular view that the world is, ultimately, merely something like a conglomerate of objects and irreducible dispositions. First, I argue that the essentialist implications many suppose this view has are not compatible with the PLA. Second, I argue that, irrespective of whether this view has any essentialist implications, it is not compatible with the kind of explanation that the PLA affords., (Web, pdf).

  76. J. Katzav, Ellis on the limitations of dispositionalism, Analysis, 65 (2005), pp. 92-94.
    (Web, pdf).

  77. M. Kistler, Colours and Appearances as Powers and Manifestations, Putting Powers to Work, (2013).
    Humans have only finite discriminatory capacities. This simple fact seems to be incompatible with the existence of appearances . As many authors have noted, the hypothesis that appearances exist seems to be refuted by reductio: Let A, B, C be three uniformly coloured ..., (Web, pdf).

  78. H. Kochiras, Force, Matter, and Metaphysics in Newton's Natural Philosophy, ProQuest, 2008.
    Metaphysical principles may be intuitively appealing by making the world intelligible, yet they are very difficult to justify. The role that such principles should play in the development of a physical theory becomes a pressing question for Newton, for he seeks a causal explanation of gravity that will eliminate the spectre of matter acting at distance, with sun and planets attracting one another across empty space. Does Newton reach an answer to his question about gravity's causal story, and if not, what stands in the way? Despite his empiricism, he is strongly drawn to the metaphysical principles that matter is passive and that causation is local, so at one level, his problem about gravity seems to be that of discovering some immaterial medium that might possess active powers. Yet I identify in Newton's reasoning a more fundamental problem about gravity, Newton's Substance Counting Problem. His ontology includes immaterial substances as well as material ones, and while his penchant for certain metaphysical principles keeps the search for an immaterial medium alive, his empiricism prevents him from postulating such a medium. He also allows, on empirical grounds, the possibility that substances of different kinds can co-occupy regions of space. Yet if two things can be in the same place at the same time, I argue, Newton has no empirical means of determining how many substances are present on the basis of perceived properties, or of associating those properties with one substance rather than another. Nor will he make those determinations by asserting the metaphysical principles he suspects to be true. Thus he has no means of associating active powers with an immaterial medium rather than with matter, and Newton's problem of discovering gravity's complete causal story is one that cannot be solved., (Web, pdf).

  79. H. Kochiras, Newton on Matter and Space in De gravitatione et aequipondio fluidorum , Quadrennial Fellows Conference of the Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science, convened at Mugla University, (2012), pp. 1-13.
    This paper explicates the concepts of matter and space that Newton develops in De gravitatione. As I interpret Newton's account of created substances, bodies are constructed from qualities alone, as configured by God. Although regions of space and then ``determined quantities of extension'' appear to replace the Aristotelian substrate by functioning as property-bearers, they actually serve only as logical subjects. An implication of the interpretation I develop is that only space is extended by having parts outside parts; material bodies are spatially extended only in a derivative sense, via the presence of their constitutive qualities or powers in space., (pdf).

  80. H. Kochiras, Causal Language and the Structure of Force in Newton's System of the World, HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science,, 3 (2013), pp. 210-235.
    Although Newton carefully eschews questions about gravity's causal basis in the published Principia, the original version of his masterwork's third book contains some intriguing causal language. ``These forces,'' he writes, ``arise from the universal nature of matter.'' Such remarks seem to assert knowledge of gravity's cause, even that matter is capable of robust and distant action. Some commentators defend that interpretation of the text--a text whose proper interpretation is important since Newton's reasons for suppressing it strongly suggest that he continued to endorse its ideas. This article argues that the surface appearance of Newton's causal language is deceptive. What does Newton intend with his causal language if not a full causal hypothesis? His remarks actually indicate a way of considering the force mathematically, something he contrasts to the structure of the force as it really is in nature. In explaining that, he identifies a significant disjunction between the physical force itself and mathematical ways of considering it, and the text's significance lies in its view of the force's structure and in the questions raised about the relationship between mathematical representations and the physical world., (Web, pdf).

  81. J. Lamont, Fall and Rise of Aristotelian Metaphysics in the Philosophy of Science, Science, Worldviews and Education, (2009), pp. 213-236.
    The paper examines the fortunes of Aristotelian metaphysics in science and the philosophy of science. It considers the Enlightenment claim that such a metaphysics is fundamentally unscientific, and that its abandonment was essential to the scientific revolution. The history of the scientific revolution and the metaphysical debates involved in it is examined, and it is argued that the eclipse of Aristotelian views was neither complete, nor merited. The evolution of Humeian and positivist accounts of science is described, and it is shown how the severe problems with these accounts, together with a revival of Aristotelian concepts in philosophy, have led to the rebirth of broadly Aristotelian accounts of the metaphysics underlying science., (Web, pdf).

  82. M. Lange, A Note on Scientific Essentialism, Laws of Nature, and Counterfactual Conditionals, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 82 (2004), pp. 227-241.
    Scientific essentialism aims to account for the natural laws' special capacity to support counterfactuals. I argue that scientific essentialism can do so only by resorting to devices that are just as ad hoc as those that essentialists accuse Humean regularity theories of employing. I conclude by offering an account of the laws' distinctive relation to counterfactuals that portrays laws as contingent but nevertheless distinct from accidents by virtue of possessing a genuine variety of necessity., (Web, pdf).

  83. M. Lange, Reply to Ellis and to Handfield on essentialism, laws, and counterfactuals, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 83 (2005), pp. 581-588.
    In Lange 2004a, I argued that `scientific essentialism' [Ellis 2001 cannot account for the characteristic relation between laws and counterfactuals without undergoing considerable ad hoc tinkering. In recent papers, Brian Ellis 2005 and Toby Handfield 2005 have defended essentialism against my charge. Here I argue that Ellis's and Handfield's replies fail. Even in ordinary counterfactual reasoning, the `closest possible world' where the electron's electric charge is 5actual world in its fundamental natural kinds than a `more distant possible world' where the electron's charge is 5essentialism's flexibility in being able to accommodate virtually any relation between laws and counterfactuals is a symptom of essentialism's explanatory impotence as far as that relation is concerned., (Web).

  84. A. Lyon, Deterministic probability: neither chance nor credence, Synthese, (2010), pp. 1-20.
    Some have argued that chance and determinism are compatible in order to account for the objectivity of probabilities in theories that are compatible with determinism, like Classical Statistical Mechanics (CSM) and Evolutionary Theory (ET). Contrarily, some have argued that chance and determinism are incompatible, and so such probabilities are subjective. In this paper, I argue that both of these positions are unsatisfactory. I argue that the probabilities of theories like CSM and ET are not chances, but also that they are not subjective probabilities either. Rather, they are a third type of probability, which I call counterfactual probability. The main distinguishing feature of counterfactual-probability is the role it plays in conveying important counterfactual information in explanations. This distinguishes counterfactual probability from chance as a second concept of objective probability., (pdf).

  85. J. Maier, A Dispositional Theory of Counterfactuals, (2010), pp. 1-22.

  86. W. Malzkorn, Realism, functionalism and the conditional analysis of dispositions, The Philosophical Quarterly, (2000), pp. 452-469.

  87. D. Manley, On Modal Accounts Of Dispositionality , (2009), pp. 1-6.
    What is it for a property to be dispositional? To answer this question, we can try appealing to the special relationship that dispositions appear to have with modal facts. This is the strategy of modal accounts of dispositionality, which have an important philosophical pedigree.1 For example, consider the following schemas, where for any `d' that names a disposition, one can replace `M' with a purely modal sentence: A1. Having d [a priori] entails M. A2. d is the modal property of being such that M. A3. d is the second-order property of having a property partly in virtue of which M.2 Corresponding to each schema there is a modal account of dispositions. According to what I will call consequentialism, dispositions can be distinguished by modal entailments like A1; according to modalism, dispositions are a special kind of modal property specified by A2; and according to second-orderism, dispositions are a special kind of second-order property specified by A3., (Web, pdf).

  88. N. Maxwell, Quantum Propensiton Theory: A Testable Resolution of the Wave/Particle Dilemma, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 39 (1988), pp. 1-50.
    What sort of physical objects are electrons, protons, photons, atoms, molecules-the entities of the quantum world-in view of the contradictory wave and particlepropertiesthat these objectsappearto possess? This deserves to be regarded as the fundamental problem concerning the nature of the quantum world. It is above all this problemthat we must solve if we are to have an adequate understanding of the quantum domain., (Web, pdf).

  89. N. Maxwell, Is the Quantum World Composed of Propensitons?, (2007).
    (Web, pdf).

  90. McKitrick, A defense of the causal efficacy of dispositions, Sats - Nordic Journal of Philosophy, 5 (2014), pp. 110-130.
    Disposition terms, such as 'cowardice,' 'fragility' and 'reactivity,' often appear in explanations. Sometimes we explain why a man ran away by saying that he was cowardly, or we explain why something broke by saying it was fragile. Scientific explanations of certain phenomena feature dispositional properties like instability, reactivity, and conductivity. And these look like causal explanations - they seem to provide information about the causal history of various events., (Web, pdf).

  91. J. McKitrick, The bare metaphysical possibility of bare dispositions (causal basis), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 66 (2003), pp. 349-369.
    Many philosophers hold that all dispositions must have independent causal bases. I challenge this view, hence defending the possibility of bare dispositions. In part 1, I explain more fully what I mean by `disposition', `causal basis', and `bare disposition'. In part 2, I consider the claim that the concept of a disposition entails that dispositions are not bare. In part 3, I consider arguments, due to Prior, Pargetter, and Jackson, that dispositions necessarily have distinct causal bases. In part 4, I consider arguments by Smith and Stoljar that there can't be bare dispositions because they would make for unwelcome `barely true' counterfactuals. In the end, I find no reason to deny the possibility of bare dispositions., (Web, pdf).

  92. D. H. Mellor, In Defense of Dispositions, The Philosophical Review, 83 (1974), pp. 157-181.
    Some difficult but important issues have arisen in recent social studies of science concerning temporally emergent phenomena and the decetering of the human subject in scientific practice. This essay seeks a constructive clarification of the issues, and ..., (Web).

  93. G. Molnar, Are dispositions reducible?, The Philosophical Quarterly, (1999), pp. 1-17.

  94. S. Mumford, Intentionality and the physical: A new theory of disposition ascription, The Philosophical Quarterly, 49 (1999), pp. 215-225.
    This paper has three aims. First, it aims to stress the importance of the dispositional/categorical distinction in the light of the evident failure of the traditional formulation. Second, it considers one radical new alternative that is on offer, intentionality as the mark of the dispositional, and shows what is unacceptable about it. Finally, a suggestion is made of what would be a better theory that explains all that was appealing about the new alternative., (Web, pdf).

  95. S. Mumford, Laws and Lawlessness, Synthese, 144 (2005), pp. 397-413.
    I develop a metaphysical position that is both lawless and anti-Humean. The position is called realist lawlessness and contrasts with both Humean lawlessness and nomological realism -the claim that there are laws in nature. While the Humean view also allows no laws, realist lawlessness is not Humean because it accepts some necessary connections in nature between distinct properties. Realism about laws, on the other hand, faces a central dilemma. Either laws govern the behaviour of properties from the outside or from the inside. If the former, an unacceptable quidditist view of properties follows. But no plausible account of laws within properties can be developed that permits a governing role specifically for laws. I conclude in favour of eliminativism about laws. At the conceptual core, the notion of a law in nature is misleading. It is suggestive of an otherwise static world in need of animation., (Web, pdf).

  96. S. Mumford, Ellis and Lierse on dispositional essentialism, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 73 (2006), pp. 606-612.

  97. S. Mumford, The Ungrounded Argument, Synthese, 149 (2006), pp. 471-489.
    Without Abstract, (Web, pdf).

  98. S. Mumford and R. L. Anjum, Dispositional modality, (2011).
    (Web, pdf).

  99. S. Mumford and R. L. Anjum, Powers, Non-Consent and Freedom, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, (2014), pp. n/a-n/a.
    There are a number of dispositionalist solutions to the free will problem based on freedom consisting in the agent's exercise of a power. But if a subject a is free when they exercise their power P, there is an objection to be overcome from the possibility of power implantation. A brainwasher, rather than directly manipulating a subject's movements, can instead implant in them a desire, to be understood as a disposition to act, and allow the subject to exercise such a power. It seems that, according to the dispositionalist theory of freedom, such an agent would still count as acting freely. There is a strong non-consent intuition that a is not free in such a case because they did not consent to having the power P--the desire in question. Filling out this intuition is not straightforward. But it can be done in terms of the exercise of P being regulated by higher-order powers of self-reflection. Such regulation is what allows an agent to either take ownership of a power or to reject it., (Web, pdf).

  100. D. Nolan, Noncausal Dispositions, (2012), pp. 1-21.
    Metaphysicians and philosophers of science have a special place in their heart for the ``nomic family'': causation, laws of nature, nomic necessity, objective chance, and relatives like counterfactual conditionals or explanation. These phenomena are at the same time apparently pervasive and philosophically puzzling: and while they all seem to be intimately connected, it is difficult to spell out exactly what those connections are. (The literature is littered with unsuccessful attempts to do so.) My focus in this paper will be on dispositions, which are collectively a member of the nomic family which are receiving more philosophical attention lately. Dispositions are no longer the poor cousins of causes or laws in the metaphysics literature, it seems., (Web, pdf).

  101. D. S. Oderberg, The non-identity of the categorical and the dispositional, Analysis, (2009).

  102. D. S. Oderberg, The world is not an asymmetric graph, Analysis, 71 (2011), pp. 3-10.

  103. D. S. Oderberg, Hume, the Occult, and the Substance of the School, Metaphysica, 13 (2012), pp. 155-174.
    I have not been able to locate any critique of Hume on substance by a Schoolman, at least in English, dating from Hume's period or shortly thereafter. I have, therefore, constructed my own critique as an exercise in `post facto history'. This is what a late eighteenth-century/early nineteenth-century Scholastic could, would, and should have said in response to Hume's attack on substance should they have been minded to do so. That no one did is somewhat mysterious. My critique is precisely in the language of the period, using solely the conceptual resources available to a Schoolman at that time. The arguments, however, are as sound now as they were then, and in this sense the paper performs a dual role--contributing to the defence of substance contra Hume, and filling, albeit two hundred years or so too late, a gap in the historical record., (Web, pdf).

  104. D. S. Oderberg, Is Form Structure?, (2014), pp. 1-11.

  105. R. Pasnau, Form and Matter, (2009), pp. 1-13.
    The first unquestionably big idea in the history of philosophy was the idea of form. The idea of course belonged to Plato, and was then domesticated at the hands of Aristotle, who paired form with matter as the two chief principles of his metaphysics and natural philosophy. In the medieval period, it was Aristotle's conception of form and matter that generally dominated. This was true for both the Islamic and the Christian tradition, once the entire Aristotelian corpus became available. For this reason, although there is much to say about the fate of Platonic Forms in medieval thought, the present chapter will focus on the Aristotelian tradition., (pdf).

  106. M. Pauri, Epistemic Primacy vs. Ontological Elusiveness of Spatial Extension: Is There an Evolutionary Role for the Quantum?, Foundations of Physics, 41 (2011), pp. 1677-1702.
    A critical re-examination of the history of the concepts of space (including spacetime of general relativity and relativistic quantum field theory) reveals a basic ontological elusiveness of spatial extension, while, at the same time, highlighting the fact that its epistemic primacy seems to be unavoidably imposed on us (as stated by A.Einstein ``giving up the extensional continuum ... is like to breathe in airless space''). On the other hand, Planck's discovery of the atomization of action leads to the fundamental recognition of an ontology of non-spatial, abstract entities (Quine) for the quantum level of reality (QT), as distinguished from the nec- essarily spatio-temporal, experimental revelations (measurements). The elementary quantum act (measured by Planck's constant) has neither duration nor extension, and any genuinely quantum process literally does not belong in the Raum and time of our experience. As Heisenberg stresses: ``Während also die klassische Physik ein objectives Geschehen in Raum and Zeit zum Gegenstand hat, für dessen Existenz seine Beobachtung völlig irrelevant war, behandelt die Quantentheorie Vorgänge, die sozusagen nur in den Momenten der Beobachtung als raumzeitliche Phänomene aufleuchten, und über die in der zwischenzeit anschaulische physikalische Aussagen sinloss sind''. An admittedly speculative, hazardous conjecture is then advanced concerning the relation of such quantum ontology with the role of the pre-phenomenal continuum (Husserl) in the perception of macroscopically distinguishable objects in the Raum and time of our experience. Although rather venturesome, it brings together important philosophical issues. Coherently with recent general results in works on the foundations of QT, it is assumed that the linearity of quantum dynamical evolution does not apply to the central nervous system of living beings at a certain level of the evolutionary ramification and at the pre-conscious stage of subjectivity., (Web, pdf).

  107. U. T. Place, Intentionality as the mark of the dispositional, dialectica, 50 (1996), pp. 91-120.
    Martin and fieifer (1986) have claimed ``that the most typical characterizationsof intentionality ...all fail to distinguish ...mental states from ... dispositional physical states.'' The evidence they present in support of thisthesis is examined in the light of the possibility that what it shows is that intentionalityis the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional. Of the five marks of intentionalitythey discuss a critical examination shows that three of them, Brentano's (1874) inexistence of the intentional object, Searle's (1983) directedness and Anscombes 1965) indeterminacy, are features which distinguish T-intenTional/dispositional states, bohl mental and non-mental (physical), from non-dispositional ``categorical`` states. The other two are either, as in the case of Chisholm's (1957) permissiblefakity of a propositionalattitudeascription,a feature of linguisticutterancestoo restrictedin its scopeto be of interest, or, asin the case of Frege's (1892) indirect reference/Quine's (1953) referential opacity, evidence that the S-intensional locution is a quotation either of what someone has said in the past or might be expected to say, if the question were to arise at some time in the future., (Web, pdf).

  108. T. Popa, Scientific Method in MeteorologyIV, HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science,, 4 (2014), pp. 306-334.
    (Web, pdf).

  109. E. Prior, R. Pargetter, and F. Jackson, Three theses about dispositions, 19 (1982), pp. 251-257.

  110. S. Psillos, Scientific realism and metaphysics, Ratio, 18 (2005), pp. 385-404.

  111. S. Psillos, What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested?, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 72 (2006), pp. 137-156.

  112. S. Psillos, Causal Explanation and Manipulation, Rethinking Explanation, (2007), pp. 93-107.
    Causal explanation proceeds by citing the causes of the explanandum. Any model of causal explanation requires a specification of the relation between cause and effect in virtue of which citing the cause explains the effect. In particular, it requires a specification of what it is for the explanandum to be causally dependent on the explanans and what types of things (broadly understood) the explanans are. There have been a number of such models. For the benefit of the unfamiliar reader, here is a brief statement of some major views., (pdf).

  113. S. Psillos, Semirealism or Neo-Aristotelianism?, (2010), pp. 1-7.
    Anjan Chakravartty and I are both scientific realists and yet we are separated by a great divide. He's a neo-Aristotelian, whereas I am a neo-Humean. Prima facie, this is not a divide that has anything to do with scientific realism itself. It's a divide within metaphysics--or the metaphysics of science, to be more precise. It might be thought that neo-Humeanism is antimetaphysics altogether, but this is wrong. Metaphysics--that is, a view about the deep structure of reality and its fundamental constituents--is not optional. The only serious issue, I believe, is how deeply this view should be digging; how rich the conception of the fundamental structure of reality ought to be. Neo-Humeanism promotes a rather thin--or sparse--view of the fundamental structure of reality. In particular, it denies that the regularity there is in the world needs grounding in a metaphysically distinct (and typically deeper) layer of facts or entities, which are supposed to enforce the regularity there is in the world. But buying into the idea that the world is characterised by regular patterns of co-existence and succession of property-instances is metaphysics enough!, (pdf).

  114. B. Rives, Why dispositions are (still) distinct from their bases and causally impotent, American Philosophical Quarterly, 42 (2005), pp. 19-31.

  115. W. Salmon, Causality without counterfactuals, Philosophy of Science, (1994), pp. 297-312.
    This paper presents a drastically revised version of the theory of causality, based on analyses of causal processes and causal interactions, advocated in Salmon (1984). Relying heavily on modified versions of proposals by P. Dowe, this article answers penetrating objections by Dowe and P. Kitcher to the earlier theory. It shows how the new theory circumvents a host of difficulties that have been raised in the literature. The result is. I hope, a more satisfactory analysis of physical causality., (pdf).

  116. R. Schroer, Can a Single Property Be Both Dispositional and Categorical? The ``Partial Consideration Strategy'', Partially Considered, Metaphysica, 14 (2012), pp. 63-77.
    One controversial position in the debate over dispositional and categorical properties maintains that our concepts of these properties are the result of partially considering unitary properties that are both dispositional and categorical. As one of its defenders (Heil 2005, p. 351) admits, this position is typically met with ``incredulous stares''. In this paper, I examine whether such a reaction is warranted. This thesis about properties is an instance of what I call ``the Partial Consideration Strategy''--i.e., the strategy of claiming that what were formerly thought of as distinct entities are actually a unified entity, partially considered. By evaluating its use in other debates, I uncover a multi-layered prima facie case against the use of the Partial Consideration Strategy in the dispositional/categorical properties debate. In closing, I describe how the Partial Consideration Strategy can be reworked in a way that would allow it to sidestep this prima facie case., (Web, pdf).

  117. R. D. Sorkin, Relativity theory does not imply that the future already exists: a counterexample, Arxiv preprint, gr-qc (2007).
    It is often said that the relativistic fusion of time with space rules out genuine change or ``becoming''. I offer the classical sequential growth models of causal set theory as counterexamples., (Web, pdf).

  118. J. R. Steinberg, Dispositions and subjunctives, Philosophical Studies, 148 (2010), pp. 323-341.
    It is generally agreed that dispositions cannot be analyzed in terms of simple subjunctive conditionals (because of what are called ``masked dispositions'' and ``finkish dispositions''). I here defend a qualified subjunctive account of dispositions according to which an object is disposed to U when conditions C obtain if and only if, if conditions C were to obtain, then the object would U ceteris paribus. I argue that this account does not fall prey to the objections that have been raised in the literature., (pdf).

  119. M. Steiner, Events and causality, Journal Of Philosophy, 83 (1986), pp. 249-264.

  120. M. Suarez, Causal processes and propensities in quantum mechanics, Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia, 19 (2004), pp. 271-300.
    In an influential article published in 1982, Bas Van Fraassen developed an argument against causal realism on the basis of an analysis of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations of quantum mechanics. Several philosophers of science and experts in causal inference - including some causal realists like Wesley Salmon - have accepted Van Fraassen's argument, interpreting it as a proof that the quantum correlations cannot be given any causal model. In this paper I argue that Van Fraassen's article can also be interpreted as a good guide to the different causal models available for the EPR correlations, and their relative virtues. These models in turn give us insight into some of the unusual features that quantum propensities might have., (Web, pdf).

  121. M. Suarez, Quantum selections, propensities and the problem of measurement, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 55 (2004), pp. 219-255.
    This paper expands on, and provides a qualified defence of, Arthur Fine's selective interactions solution to the measurement problem. Fine's approach must be understood against the background of the insolubility proof of the quantum measurement. I first defend the proof as an appropriate formal representation of the quantum measurement problem. The nature of selective interactions, and more generally selections, is then clarified, and three arguments in their favour are offered. First, selections provide the only known solution to the measurement problem that does not relinquish any of the explicit premises of the insolubility proofs. Second, unlike some no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics, selections suffer no difficulties with non-ideal measurements. Third, unlike most collapse interpretations, selections can be independently motivated by an appeal to quantum propensities., (Web, pdf).

  122. C. Swoyer, The nature of natural laws, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 60 (1982), pp. 203-223.
    (Web, pdf).

  123. M. Tabaczek, The metaphysics of downward causation: Rediscovering the formal cause, Zygon, 48 (2013), pp. 380-404.
    (Web, pdf).

  124. J. H. Taylor, In Defence of Powerful Qualities, Metaphysica, 14 (2012), pp. 93-107.
    The ontology of `powerful qualities' is gaining an increasing amount of attention in the literature on properties. This is the view that the so-called categorical or qualitative properties are identical with `dispositional' properties. The position is associated with C.B. Martin, John Heil, Galen Strawson and Jonathan Jacobs. Robert Schroer (2012) has recently mounted a number of criticisms against the powerful qualities view as conceived by these main adherents, and has also advanced his own (radically different) version of the view. In this paper I have three main aims: firstly, I shall defend the ontology from his critique, arguing that his criticisms do not damage the position. Secondly, I shall argue that Schroer's own version of the view is untenable. Thirdly, the paper shall serve to clear up some conceptual confusions that often bedevil the powerful qualities view., (Web, pdf).

  125. T. Thako, In Defence of Aristotelian Metaphysics,
    When I say that my conception of metaphysics is Aristotelian, or neo-Aristotelian, this may have more to do with Aristotle's philosophical methodology than his metaphysics, but, as I see it, the core of this Aristotelian conception of metaphysics is the idea that metaphysics is the first, (Web, pdf).

  126. I. Thompson, Real dispositions in the physical world, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 39 (1988), pp. 67-79.

  127. I. Thompson, Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: A Causal Correspondence Theory, (1990).
    We may suspect that quantum mechanics and consciousness are re- lated, but the details are not at all clear. In this paper, I suggest how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining dis- tinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain., (pdf).

  128. I. Thompson, The Nature of Substance, Cogito, (2005), pp. 1-3.

  129. I. Thompson, Two Ways of Looking at Time, Cogito, (2005), pp. 1-3.

  130. I. Thompson, Discrete Degrees Within and Between Nature and Mind, in Psycho-Physical Dualism Today. An Interdisciplinary Approach, A. Antonietti and A. Corradini, eds., Lexington Books, Mar. 2008, pp. 99-123.
    Examining the role of dispositions (potentials and propensities) in both physics and psychology reveals that they are commonly derivative dispositions, so called because they derive from other dispositions. Furthermore, when they act, they produce further propensities. Together, therefore, they appear to form discrete degrees within a structure of multiple generative levels. It is then constructively hypothesized that minds and physical nature are themselves discrete degrees within some more universal structure. This gives rise to an effective dualism of mind and nature, but one according to which they are still constantly related by causal connections. I suggest a few of the unified principles of operation of this more complicated but universal structure., (pdf).

  131. B. N. Towl, Spurious Causal Kinds: A Problem for the Causal-Power Conception of Kinds, Philosophia, 38 (2010), pp. 217-223.

  132. B. Vetter, The Explanatory Power of Dispositional Essentialism, in Properties, Powers, and Structures. Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism, B. Ellis, A. Bird, and H. Sankey, eds., Routledge, 2011, pp. 201-215.
    In this paper, I look at the argument for Dispositional Essentialism (DE) that has been put forward by A. Bird in his recent book Nature's Metaphysics. Bird's overall argument comes in two parts, one negative and one positive, which together are to establish DE as the best contender for a theory of properties and laws. I argue that, even if all their particular steps go through, both parts of the argument have significant gaps. The negative argument, if successful, shows that at least one property has an essence, but not that any property has a dispositional essence. The positive argument, which aims to demonstrate the explanatory power of DE, fails to take account of the quantitative nature of the fundamental natural properties and laws. I finish by suggesting a revision of DE's doctrine that might solve the latter problem, but yet remains to be spelled out., (Web, pdf).

  133. A. Vicente, The role of dispositions in explanations, Theoria, 19 (2004).
    (Web, pdf).

  134. D. v. Wachter, The Tendency Theory of Causation, (2009), pp. 1-31.
    I propose a non-Humean theory of causation with ``tendencies'' as causal connections. Not, however, as ``necessary connexions'': causes are not sufficient, they do not necessitate their effects. The theory is designed to be, not an analysis of the concept of causation, but a description of what is the case in typical cases of causation. I therefore call it a metaphysical theory of causation, as opposed to a semantic one., (pdf).

  135. A. Whittle, Dispositional abilities, (2010).
    Can a dispositional analysis of abilities establish that free will is compatible with determinism? Traditional compatibilists, such as Moore and Ayer, famously thought that it could.1 The ability to do otherwise was singled out as the crucial component in free will and moral responsibility. Then this, alongside other abilities, was identified with a disposition, and analysed in terms of simple conditionals of the form: an agent is able to A if and only if she would A if she chose to. Since we are to assess whether the agent is able to do otherwise with reference to those possible worlds where she chooses differently, the existence of determinism poses no threat to the agent's ability to do otherwise., (Web, pdf).

  136. N. E. Williams, The ungrounded argument is unfounded: a response to Mumford, Synthese, 170 (2009), pp. 7-19.
    Arguing against the claim that every dispositional property is grounded in some property other than itself, Stephen Mumford presents what he calls the `Ungrounded Argument'. If successful, the Ungrounded Argument would represent a major victory for anti-Humean metaphysics over its Humean rivals, as it would allow for the existence of primitive modality. Unfortunately, Humeans need not yet be worried, as the Ungrounded Argument is itself lacking in grounding. I indicate where Mumford's argument falls down, claiming that even the dispositions of the simplest particles can have categorical bases., (Web, pdf).

  137. N. E. Williams, Putting Powers Back On Multi-Track, Philosophia, draft (2010), pp. 1-14.
    Power theorists are divided on the question of whether individual powers are single-track (for a single manifestation type) or are multi-track (capable of producing distinct manifestation types for distinct stimuli). EJ Lowe has recently defended single-tracking, arguing that the multi-tracker can provide no adequate reason for treating powers as capable of having multiple manifestation types, and claiming that putative instances of multi-track powers are either single-track powers in need of unifying descriptions or are merely several single-track powers. I respond to Lowe on behalf of the multi-tracker, first by arguing that he overlooks the extra-empirical features of the debate, then by posing a dilemma for any single-track account of powers concerning the single-tracker's ability to appropriately deal with fine-grained manifestation types. Finally I provide the aforementioned reason for thinking that there are multi-track powers., (Web, pdf).

  138. N. E. Williams, Dispositions and the Argument from Science, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 89 (2011), pp. 71-90.

  139. D. Yates, The essence of dispositional essentialism, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 87 (2013), pp. 93-128.
    (Web, pdf).

  140. N. Zangwill, Constitution and Causation, Metaphysica, 13 (2011), pp. 1-6.
    I argue that the constitution relation transmits causal efficacy and thus is a suitable relation to deploy in many troubled areas of philosophy, such as the mind- body problem. We need not demand identity., (Web, pdf).

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Author: I.J. Thompson (except as stated)