About this topic
Summary Scientific essentialism, which is sometimes used synonymously with 'dispositional essentialism', is the view that (some) properties have their causal properties -- their 'dispositional profile' -- essentially. The focus is usually on fundamental properties. Scientific essentialism is typically associated with the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on such essential properties, so laws are effectively explained by the dispositional profiles of the things that they concern. Since the properties have these profiles essentially, it seems natural to think that the laws of nature are thus metaphysically necessary, although attempts to develop weaker versions of scientific essentialism without this commitment do exist.
Key works The roots of scientific essentialism can be found in the classic works of Kripke 1980 and Putnam 1975, but the view was developed further in Ellis & Lierse 1994Ellis 2001Bird 2007, and Ellis 2009. Recent critical work engaging with various aspects of scientific essentialism includes Corry 2011Drewery 2005Hendry & Rowbottom 2009Mumford 2005, Schrenk 2010, Tahko 2015, Tahko 2015, and Yates 2013.
Introductions The introductory Chapters of Ellis 2001 and Bird 2007 provide a good starting point. See also Bird & Tobin 2008.
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  1. Dispositions and the Principle of Least Action Revisited.Benjamin T. H. Smart & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):386-395.
    Some time ago, Joel Katzav and Brian Ellis debated the compatibility of dispositional essentialism with the principle of least action. Surprisingly, very little has been said on the matter since, even by the most naturalistically inclined metaphysicians. Here, we revisit the Katzav–Ellis arguments of 2004–05. We outline the two problems for the dispositionalist identified Katzav in his 2004 , and claim they are not as problematic for the dispositional essentialist at it first seems – but not for the reasons espoused (...)
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  2. Essence, Effluence, and Emanation: A Neo-Suarezian Analysis.Andrew Dennis Bassford - forthcoming - Studia Neoaristotelica.
    The subject of this essay is propria and their relation to essence. Propria, roughly characterized, are those real properties of a thing which are natural but nonessential to it, and which are said to “flow from” the thing’s essence, where this “flows from” relation is understood to designate a kind of explanatory relation. For example, it is said that Socrates’s risibility flows from his essential humanity; and it is said that salt’s solubility in water flows from the essential natures of (...)
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  3. Humean Nomic Essentialism.Harjit Bhogal & Zee R. Perry - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Humeanism -- the idea that there are no necessary connections between distinct existences -- and Nomic Essentialism -- the idea that properties essentially play the nomic roles that they do -- are two of the most important and influential positions in the metaphysics of science. Traditionally, it has been thought that these positions were incompatible competitors. We disagree. We argue that there is an attractive version of Humeanism that captures the idea that, for example, mass essentially plays the role that (...)
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  4. Critical Notice of Alexander Bird, Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Peter Menzies - forthcoming - Analysis.
    This book advocates dispositional essentialism, the view that natural properties have dispositional essences.1 So, for example, the essence of the property of being negatively charged is to be disposed to attract positively charged objects. From this fact it follows that it is a law that all negatively charged objects will attract positively 10 charged objects; and indeed that this law is metaphysically necessary. Since the identity of the property of being negatively charged is determined by its being related in a (...)
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  5. Essence, Modality, and Intrinsicality.Gaétan Bovey - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7715-7737.
    Kit Fine famously objected against the idea that essence can be successfully analyzed in terms of de re necessity. In response, I want to explore a novel, interesting, but controversial modal account of essence in terms of intrinsicality and grounding. In the first section, I will single out two theoretical requirements that any essentialist theory should meet—the essentialist desideratum and the essentialist challenge—in order to clarify Fine’s objections. In the second section, I will assess Denby’s improved modal account, which appeals (...)
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  6. Formal Causes for Powers Theorists.Giacomo Giannini & Stephen Mumford - 2021 - In Ludger Jansen & Petter Sandstad (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation. Routledge. pp. 87-106.
    In this paper we examine whether and how powers ontologies can back formal causation. We attempt to answer three questions: i) what is formal causation; ii) whether we need formal causation, and iii) whether formal causation need powers and whether it can be grounded in powers. We take formal causal explanations to be explanations in which something's essence features prominently in the explanans. Three kinds of essential explanations are distinguished: constitutive, consequential, and those singling out something's propria. This last kind (...)
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  7. The Fundamentality of Fundamental Powers.Joaquim Giannotti - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (4):589-613.
    Dispositional essentialism is the view that all or many fundamental properties are essentially dispositional, or powers. The literature on the dispositional essence of powers is abundant. In contrast, the question of how to understand the fundamentality of fundamental powers has received scarce interest. Therefore, the fundamentality of powers stands in need of clarification. There are four main conceptions of the fundamental, namely as that which is metaphysically independent; or belonging to a minimally complete basis; or perfectly natural; or metaphysically primitive. (...)
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  8. Away with Dispositional Essences in Trope Theory.Jani Hakkarainen & Markku Keinänen - 2021 - In Ludger Jansen & Petter Sandstad (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation. London, UK, New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 106-123.
    A specific variety of formal causation is dispositional essentialism. This chapter argues that dispositional essentialism is incompatible with any trope bundle theory committed to the primitive identity of tropes, such as Keith Campbell’s account and the authors’ own Strong Nuclear Theory. Dispositional essentialism would render at least some tropes identity-dependent on other tropes, while all tropes must be considered identity-independent existents in these trope theories. Furthermore, dispositional essentialism relies on the problematic notion of dispositional essence, and it remains unclear whether (...)
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  9. Varieties of dispositional essentialism about natural laws.Salim Hirèche - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-28.
    An important task for metaphysicians and philosophers of science is to account for laws of nature – in particular, how they distinguish themselves from ‘mere’ regularities, and the modal force they are endowed with, ‘natural necessity’. Dispositional essentialism about laws is roughly the view that laws distinguish themselves by being grounded in the essences of natural entities. This paper does not primarily concern how essentialism compares to its main rivals – Humeanism and Armstrongeanism. Rather, it distinguishes and comparatively assesses various (...)
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  10. Correction to: Reconsidering the dispositional essentialist canon.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3843-3844.
    A correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-021-01620-5.
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  11. Reconsidering the Dispositional Essentialist Canon.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3421-3441.
    Dispositional Essentialism is a unified anti-Humean account of the metaphysics of low-level physical properties and laws of nature. In this paper, I articulate the view that I label Canonical Dispositional Essentialism, which comprises a structuralist metaphysics of properties and an account of laws as relations in the property structure. I then present an alternative anti-Humean account of properties and laws. This account rejects CDE’s structuralist metaphysics of properties in favour of a view of properties as qualitative grounds of dispositions and (...)
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  12. Natural kind terms again.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-17.
    The new externalist picture of natural kind terms due to Kripke, Putnam, and others has become quite popular in philosophy. Many philosophers of science have remained sceptical. Häggqvist and Wikforss have recently criticised this view severely. They contend it depends essentially on a micro-essentialist view of natural kinds that is widely rejected among philosophers of science, and that a scientifically reasonable metaphysics entails the resurrection of some version of descriptivism. It is argued in this paper that the situation is not (...)
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  13. Grounding Theories of Powers.Matthew Tugby - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11187-11216.
    Necessitarianism, as we shall use the term, is the view that natural properties and causal powers are necessarily connected in some way. In recent decades the most popular forms of necessitarianism have been the anti-Humean powers-based theories of properties, such as dispositional essentialism and the identity theory. These versions of necessitarianism have come under fire in recent years and I believe it is time for necessitarians to develop a new approach. In this paper I identify unexplored ways of positing metaphysically (...)
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  14. Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism - a Hybrid View.Julie Godfrey - 2020 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism aim to account for modality. Dispositional Essentialism takes properties to account for laws. In particular, it takes determinate properties to account for laws of nature, which are determinable. Ontic Structural Realism does the reverse. According to Steven French, Ontic Structural Realism takes laws and symmetries to be part of the fundamental structure of the world. Determinate properties are “dependent” on laws. The core difference between Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism’s accounts of modality is (...)
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  15. Five Sources of Contingency for Dispositionalism.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Metaphysica 21 (1):9-30.
    Law dispositionalism is the doctrine according to which laws of nature are grounded on powers/dispositions. In this article, I shall examine how certain laws of nature can turn out to be contingent on this view. First of all, I shall distinguish between two versions of law dispositionalism (i.e., a weak and a strong one) and I shall also single out two further theses that may be conjoined with it (i.e., strong and weak dispositional essentialism). I shall then define four different (...)
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  16. Water is and is Not H 2 O.Kevin P. Tobia, George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (2):183-208.
    The Twin Earth thought experiment invites us to consider a liquid that has all of the superficial properties associated with water (clear, potable, etc.) but has entirely different deeper causal properties (composed of “XYZ” rather than of H2O). Debates about natural kind concepts have sought to accommodate an apparent fact about ordinary people's judgments: Intuitively, the Twin Earth liquid is not water. We present results showing that people do not have this intuition. Instead, people tend to judge that there is (...)
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  17. Essence and the Inference Problem.Ashley Coates - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):915-931.
    Discussions about the nature of essence and about the inference problem for non-Humean theories of nomic modality have largely proceeded independently of each other. In this article I argue that the right conclusions to draw about the inference problem actually depend significantly on how best to understand the nature of essence. In particular, I argue that this conclusion holds for the version of the inference problem developed and defended by Alexander Bird. I argue that Bird’s own argument that this problem (...)
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  18. The Essence of Essentialism.George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):585-605.
    Over the past several decades, psychological essentialism has been an important topic of study, incorporating research from multiple areas of psychology, philosophy and linguistics. At its most basic level, essentialism is the tendency to represent certain concepts in terms of a deeper, unobservable property that is responsible for category membership. Originally, this concept was used to understand people’s reasoning about natural kind concepts, such as TIGER and WATER, but more recently, researchers have identified the emergence of essentialist-like intuitions in a (...)
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  19. Dispositional and Categorical Properties, and Russellian Monism.Eric Hiddleston - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):65-92.
    This paper has two main aims. The first is to present a general approach for understanding “dispositional” and “categorical” properties; the second aim is to use this approach to criticize Russellian Monism. On the approach I suggest, what are usually thought of as “dispositional” and “categorical” properties are really just the extreme ends of a spectrum of options. The approach allows for a number of options between these extremes, and it is plausible, I suggest, that just about everything of scientific (...)
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  20. Water has a Microstructural Essence After All.Genoveva Martí & Carl Hoefer - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-15.
    In recent years attacks on the Kripke-Putnam approach to natural kinds and natural kind terms have proliferated. In a recent paper, Häggqvist and Wikforss attack the once-dominant essentialist account of natural kinds. Häggqvist & Wikforss also suggest that it is time to return to some sort of cluster-based descriptivist semantics for natural kind terms, thus targeting both the metaphysical and semantic tenets that underpin the Kripke-Putnam approach. In our paper we want to challenge both parts of Häggqvist and Wikforss’ project. (...)
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  21. Teleological Essentialism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (4):e12725.
    Placeholder essentialism is the view that there is a causal essence that holds category members together, though we may not know what the essence is. Sometimes the placeholder can be filled in by scientific essences, such as when we acquire scientific knowledge that the atomic weight of gold is 79. We challenge the view that placeholders are elaborated by scientific essences. On our view, if placeholders are elaborated, they are elaborated Aristotelian essences, a telos. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments (...)
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  22. God and Dispositional Essentialism: An Account of the Laws of Nature.Dani Adams - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):293-316.
    It is common to appeal to governing laws of nature in order to explain the existence of natural regularities. Classical theism, however, maintains the sovereignty thesis: everything distinct from God is created by him and is under his guidance and control. It follows from this that God must somehow be responsible for natural laws and regularities. Therefore, theists need an account of the relation between regularities, laws, and God. I examine competing accounts of laws of nature and conclude that dispositional (...)
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  23. Natural Laws as Dispositions.Florian Fischer - 2018 - De Gruyter.
    Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the vast topic of laws of nature. Thus, it first outlines the alleged characteristics of the laws of nature, namely truth, objectivity, contingency, necessity, universality, grounding counterfactuals and their role in science. Among these aspects, the peculiar modal status of laws of nature will be identified as the ‘holy grail’ of the debate. The second part of this chapter is concerned with the three main families of theories of laws of nature – neo-humean, (...)
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  24. Causal Essentialism and the Identity of Indiscernibles.Cameron Gibbs - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2331-2351.
    Causal essentialists hold that a property essentially bears its causal and nomic relations. Further, as many causal essentialists have noted, the main motivations for causal essentialism also motivate holding that properties are individuated in terms of their causal and nomic relations. This amounts to a kind of identity of indiscernibles thesis; properties that are indiscernible with respect to their causal and nomic relations are identical. This can be compared with the more well-known identity of indiscernibles thesis, according to which particulars (...)
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  25. Dispositional Essentialism, Directedness, and Inclination to an End.William Hannegan - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Research 43:191-204.
    Dispositional essentialists U. T. Place, George Molnar, and C. B. Martin hold that dispositions are intrinsically directed to their manifestations. Thomists have noted that this directedness is similar to Thomistic directedness to an end. I argue that Place, Molnar, and Martin would benefit from conceiving of dispositional directedness as the sort of directedness associated with Thomistic inclinations. Such Thomistic directedness can help them to account for the production of manifestations; to justify their reliance on dispositional directedness; to show the causal (...)
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  26. The Space of Possibilities of Dispositional Essentialism.Xavi Lanao - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2813-2839.
    How we define the space of possibilities of dispositional essentialism —that is, the set of possible worlds that are genuinely possible from the point of view of DE—has important consequences for central modal debates such as how to understand the concept of essence or the relation between DE and the necessity of laws of nature. In order to define DE’s space of possibilities we need to explore DE’s consequences regarding both necessity and possibility. Unfortunately, the notion of possibility has not (...)
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  27. Hamilton’s Principle and Dispositional Essentialism: Friends or Foes?Vassilis Livanios - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (1):59-71.
    Most recently Smart and Thébault revived an almost forgotten debate between Katzav and Ellis on the compatibility of Hamilton’s Principle with Dispositional Essentialism. Katzav’s arguments inter alia aim to show that HP presupposes a kind of metaphysical contingency which is at odds with the basic tenets of DE, and offers explanations of a different type and direction from those given by DE. In this paper I argue that though dispositional essentialists might adequately respond to these arguments, the question about the (...)
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  28. Putting Modal Metaphysics First.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-20.
    I propose that we approach the epistemology of modality by putting modal metaphysics first and, specifically, by investigating the metaphysics of essence. Following a prominent Neo-Aristotelian view, I hold that metaphysical necessity depends on the nature of things, namely their essences. I further clarify that essences are core properties having distinctive superexplanatory powers. In the case of natural kinds, which is my focus in the paper, superexplanatoriness is due to the fact that the essence of a kind is what causes (...)
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  29. The Epistemology of Essence.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - In Alexander Carruth, S. C. Gibb & John Heil (eds.), Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 93-110.
    The epistemology of essence is a topic that has received relatively little attention, although there are signs that this is changing. The lack of literature engaging directly with the topic is probably partly due to the mystery surrounding the notion of essence itself, and partly due to the sheer difficulty of developing a plausible epistemology. The need for such an account is clear especially for those, like E.J. Lowe, who are committed to a broadly Aristotelian conception of essence, whereby essence (...)
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  30. Natural‐Kind Essentialism, Substance Ontology, and the Unity Problem: Two Dispositionalist Solutions.Travis Dumsday - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (4):609-626.
    What accounts for the linkage of seemingly diverse and inherently separable fundamental properties, such that they are regarded as properties of a single thing? Multiple answers to this question have been put forward in both the historical and current literature, especially from competing substance ontologies and competing theories concerning the metaphysics of natural kinds. Here I lay out and critically assess two ways in which dispositionalism might contribute to the discussion.
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  31. Hume, Dispositional Essentialism, and Where to Find the Idea of Necessary Connection.William Hannegan - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):787-791.
    Dispositional essentialists hold that the world is populated by irreducibly dispositional properties, called “potencies,” “powers,” or “dispositions.” Each of these properties is marked out by a characteristic stimulus and manifestation bound together in a metaphysically necessary connection. Dispositional essentialism faces an old objection from David Hume. Hume argues, in his Treatise of Human Nature, that we have no adequate idea of necessary connection. The epistemology of the Treatise allegedly rules the idea out. Dispositional essentialists usually respond by attacking Hume’s epistemology. (...)
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  32. Platonism, Alienation, and Negativity.David Ingram - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1273-1285.
    A platonic theory of possibility states that truths about what’s possible are determined by facts about properties not being instantiated. Recently, Matthew Tugby has argued in favour of this sort of theory, arguing that adopting a platonic theory of possibility allows us to solve a paradox concerning alien properties: properties that might have been instantiated, but aren’t actually. In this paper, I raise a worry for Tugby’s proposal—that it commits us to negative facts playing an important truth-making role—and offer a (...)
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  33. Essentiality Without Necessity.Petter Sandstad - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):61-78.
    It is widely accepted that if a property is essential then it is necessary. Against this I present numerous counterexamples from biology and chemistry, which fall into two groups: (I) A property is essential to a genus or species, yet some instances of this genus or species do not have this essential property. (II) A property is essential to a genus, yet some species of this genus do not have this essential property. I discuss and reject four minor objections. Then (...)
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  34. The Modal Status of Laws: In Defence of a Hybrid View.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):509-528.
    Three popular views regarding the modal status of the laws of nature are discussed: Humean Supervenience, nomic necessitation, and scientific/dispositional essentialism. These views are examined especially with regard to their take on the apparent modal force of laws and their ability to explain that modal force. It will be suggested that none of the three views, at least in their strongest form, can be maintained if some laws are metaphysically necessary, but others are metaphysically contingent. Some reasons for thinking that (...)
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  35. Natural Kind Essentialism Revisited.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):795-822.
    Recent work on Natural Kind Essentialism has taken a deflationary turn. The assumptions about the grounds of essentialist truths concerning natural kinds familiar from the Kripke-Putnam framework are now considered questionable. The source of the problem, however, has not been sufficiently explicated. The paper focuses on the Twin Earth scenario, and it will be demonstrated that the essentialist principle at its core (which I call IDENT)—that necessarily, a sample of a chemical substance, A, is of the same kind as another (...)
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  36. Scientific Essentialism From Kripke to Ellis.Maryam Moayerzadeh Akrami & Musa - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 8 (15):1-23.
    Rooted in Aristotelian tradition, Scientific Essentialism is an important metaphysical theory. According to this theory, some properties determine the nature of a physical entity. The proponents of such a view hold that all physical entities have their own essences. Denying the possibility of knowing the essences of the entities, some philosophers have criticized Aristotle essentialism. This criticism came to the peak with the denial of metaphysics in Logical Positivism. Essentialism was developed with a scientific appearance by philosophers such as; Kripke (...)
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  37. What is the Nature of Properties?Lorenzo Azzano - 2014 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 5 (2):27-42.
    In the recent debate about the nature of properties, dispositional essentialism, which claims that a property possesses its powers essentially, seems to provide an interesting alternative to the quite simple and problematic view that properties are to be identified through primitive qualities, quidditates. However, it is not easy to characterize explicitly and uncontroversially dispositional essentialism, in particular when it comes to the treatment of powers. A further reference to primitive qualities may prove to be unavoidable, thus suggesting a medium between (...)
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  38. Necessary Laws and Chemical Kinds.Nora Berenstain - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):631-647.
    Contingentism, generally contrasted with law necessitarianism, is the view that the laws of nature are contingent. It is often coupled with the claim that their contingency is knowable a priori. This paper considers Bird's (2001, 2002, 2005, 2007) arguments for the thesis that, necessarily, salt dissolves in water; and it defends his view against Beebee's (2001) and Psillos's (2002) contingentist objections. A new contingentist objection is offered and several reasons for scepticism about its success are raised. It is concluded that (...)
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  39. Can Bare Dispositions Explain Categorical Regularities?Tyler Hildebrand - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):569-584.
    One of the traditional desiderata for a metaphysical theory of laws of nature is that it be able to explain natural regularities. Some philosophers have postulated governing laws to fill this explanatory role. Recently, however, many have attempted to explain natural regularities without appealing to governing laws. Suppose that some fundamental properties are bare dispositions. In virtue of their dispositional nature, these properties must be (or are likely to be) distributed in regular patterns. Thus it would appear that an ontology (...)
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  40. Dispositional Essentialism and the Grounding of Natural Modality.Siegfried Jaag - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Dispositional essentialism is a non-Humean view about the essences of certain fundamental or natural properties that looms large in recent metaphysics , not least because it promises to explain neatly the natural modalities such as laws of nature, counterfactuals, causation and chance. In the current paper, however, several considerations are presented that indicate a serious tension between its essentialist core thesis and natural “metaphysical” interpretations of its central explanatory claims.
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  41. The “Constant” Threat to the Dispositional Essentialist Conception of Laws.Vassilios Livanios - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1).
    According to the dispositional essentialist account of laws of nature, the latter express the dispositional nature of fundamental natural properties. In this paper I discuss the difficulty that the existence of fundamental constants of nature raises for that account. To this end, I examine a relevant argument against the account and describe how an advocate of the dispositionalist conception may try to undermine it by raising objections to its premises. Then I discuss those objections and show that eventually all fail. (...)
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  42. The Emperor's New Metaphysics of Powers.Stephen Barker - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):605-653.
    This paper argues that the new metaphysics of powers, also known as dispositional essentialism or causal structuralism, is an illusory metaphysics. I argue for this in the following way. I begin by distinguishing three fundamental ways of seeing how facts of physical modality — facts about physical necessitation and possibility, causation, disposition, and chance — are grounded in the world. The first way, call it the first degree, is that the actual world or all worlds, in their entirety, are the (...)
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  43. Dispositional Essentialism and the Nature of Powerful Properties.William A. Bauer - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (35):1-19.
    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 (...)
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  44. Essence and Natural Kinds: When Science Meets Preschooler Intuition.Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4:108-66.
  45. Perhaps Essentialism is Not so Essential: At Least Not for Natural Kinds: Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O’Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater : Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011, X+355pp, $30.00 PB, $60.00 HB. [REVIEW]Miles MacLeod - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):293-296.
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  46. The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
    Dispositional essentialists argue that physical properties have their causal roles essentially. This is typically taken to mean that physical properties are identical to dispositions. I argue that this is untenable, and that we must instead say that properties bestow dispositions. I explore what it is for a property to have such a role essentially. Dispositional essentialists argue for their view by citing certain epistemological and metaphysical implications, and I appeal to these implications to place desiderata on the concept of essence (...)
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  47. The Ultimate Argument Against Dispositional Monist Accounts of Laws.Stephen Barker & Benjamin Smart - 2012 - Analysis 72 (4):714-722.
    Bird argues that Armstrong’s necessitarian conception of physical modality and laws of nature generates a vicious regress with respect to necessitation. We show that precisely the same regress afflicts Bird’s dispositional-monist theory, and indeed, related views, such as that of Mumford & Anjum. We argue that dispositional monism is basically Armstrongian necessitarianism modified to allow for a thesis about property identity.
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  48. Monastic Dispositional Essentialism.Alexander Bird - 2012 - In Alexander Bird, B. D. Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge. pp. 35--41.
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  49. Probabilities, Laws, and Structures.Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez, Stephan Hartmann, Michael Stöltzner & Marcel Weber - 2012 - Berlin: Springer.
    This volume, the third in this Springer series, contains selected papers from the four workshops organized by the ESF Research Networking Programme "The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective" (PSE) in 2010: Pluralism in the Foundations of Statistics Points of Contact between the Philosophy of Physics and the Philosophy of Biology The Debate on Mathematical Modeling in the Social Sciences Historical Debates about Logic, Probability and Statistics The volume is accordingly divided in four sections, each of them containing papers (...)
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  50. Remarques Sur le Projet Essentialiste de Brian Ellis En Philosophie de la Nature.Philippe Gagnon - 2012 - Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 43:61-94.
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