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  1. Tropes, Unmanifested Dispositions and Powerful Qualities.Ashley Coates - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    According to a well-known argument, originally due to David Armstrong, powers theory is objectionable, as it leads to a ‘Meinongian’ ontology on which some entities are real but do not actually exist. I argue here that the right conclusion to draw from this argument has thus far not been identified and that doing so has significant implications for powers theory. Specifically, I argue that the key consequence of the argument is that it provides substantial grounds for trope powers theorists, but (...)
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  • Causal Properties and Conservative Reduction.Michael Esfeld - unknown
    The paper argues in favour of a causal-functional theory of all properties including the physical ones and a conception of properties as tropes or modes in the sense of particular ways that objects are. It shows how these premises open up a version of functionalism according to which the properties on which the special sciences focus are identical with configurations of physical properties and thereby causally efficacious without there being any threat of eliminativism.
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  • Replacing Functional Reduction with Mechanistic Explanation.Markus I. Eronen - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):125-153.
    Recently the functional model of reduction has become something like the standard model of reduction in philosophy of mind. In this paper, I argue that the functional model fails as an account of reduction due to problems related to three key concepts: functionalization, realization and causation. I further argue that if we try to revise the model in order to make it more coherent and scientifically plausible, the result is merely a simplified version of what in philosophy of science is (...)
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  • Causal Nominalism.Ann Whittle - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
    The causal theory of properties is standardly combined with a realist's ontology of universals or tropes. In this paper, I consider an uncharted alternative – a nominalist causal theory of properties. I discuss advantages and disadvantages of the resulting theory of properties, and explore the Rylean understanding of causal powers that emerges.
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  • GRW as an Ontology of Dispositions.Mauro Dorato & Michael Esfeld - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):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 (...)
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  • Kinds and Essences.John Heil - 2005 - Ratio 18 (4):405–419.
  • Quiddistic Knowledge.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2):1-32.
    Is the relation between properties and the causal powers they confer necessary, or contingent? Necessary, says Sydney Shoemaker, on pain of skepticism about the properties. Contingent, says David Lewis, swallowing the skeptical conclusion. I shall argue that Lewis is right about the metaphysics, but that Shoemaker and Lewis are wrong about the epistemology. Properties have intrinsic natures (quiddities), which we can know.
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  • The Causal Theory of Properties and the Causal Theory of Reference, or How to Name Properties and Why It Matters.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):579 - 612.
    forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  • The Causal Inefficacy of Content.Gabriel M. A. Segal - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (1):80-102.
    : The paper begins with the assumption that psychological event tokens are identical to or constituted from physical events. It then articulates a familiar apparent problem concerning the causal role of psychological properties. If they do not reduce to physical properties, then either they must be epiphenomenal or any effects they cause must also be caused by physical properties, and hence be overdetermined. It then argues that both epiphenomenalism and over‐determinationism are prima facie perfectly reasonable and relatively unproblematic views. The (...)
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  • The Causal Inefficacy of Content.Gabriel M. A. Segal - unknown
    The paper begins with the assumption that psychological event tokens are identical to or constituted from physical events. It then articulates a familiar apparent problem concerning the causal role of psychological properties. If they do not reduce to physical properties, then either they must be epiphenomenal or any effects they cause must also be caused by physical properties, and hence be overdetermined. It then argues that both epiphenomenalism and over-determinationism are prima facie perfectly reasonable and relatively unproblematic views. The paper (...)
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  • The Nature of Properties: Causal Essentialism and Quidditism.Jennifer Wang - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (3):168-176.
    Properties seem to play an important role in causal relations. But philosophers disagree over whether or not properties play their causal or nomic roles essentially. Causal essentialists say that they do, while quidditists deny it. This article surveys these two views, as well as views that try to find a middle ground.
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  • Peter Unger, All the Power in the World* (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. XXIX +640pp.). [REVIEW]John Heil - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):336–348.
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  • A Brighter Shade of Categoricalism.Michele Paolini Paoletti - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-30.
    Categoricalism is a doctrine about properties according to which the dispositional aspects of properties are not essential to them. In opposition to categoricalism, dispositionalism holds that the dispositional aspects of properties are essential to them. In this article, I shall construct a new version of categoricalism that should be favoured over the other existing versions: Semi-Necessitarian Categoricalism. In Section 2 I shall elaborate on the distinction between categoricalism and dispositionalism and single out different ‘shades’ of both doctrines. I shall also (...)
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  • 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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  • Underdetermination as a Path to Structural Realism.Katherine Brading & Alexander Skiles - 2012 - In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer.
  • The Dispositional Nature of Phenomenal Properties.Simone Gozzano - 2018 - Topoi 39 (5):1045-1055.
    According to non-reductive physicalism, mental properties of the phenomenal sort are essentially different from physical properties, and cannot be reduced to them. This being a quarrel about properties, I draw on the categorical / dispositional distinction to discuss this non-reductive claim. Typically, non-reductionism entails a categorical view of phenomenal properties. Contrary to this, I will argue that phenomenal properties, usually characterized by what it is like to have them, are mainly the manifestation of dispositional properties. This paper is thus divided (...)
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  • Counterlegals and Necessary Laws.Toby Handfield - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):402 - 419.
    Necessitarian accounts of the laws of nature meet an apparent difficulty: for them, counterlegal conditionals, despite appearing to be substantive, seem to come out as vacuous. I argue that the necessitarian may use the presuppositions of counterlegal discourse to explain this. If the typical presupposition that necessitarianism is false is made explicit in counterlegal utterances, we obtain sentences such as 'If it turns out that the laws of nature are contingent, then if the laws had been otherwise, then such and (...)
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  • Dispositional Essentialism and the Possibility of a Law-Abiding Miracle.Toby Handfield - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (205):484-494.
  • Metaphysics, Laws, and Natural Kinds: Minimalist Approaches: Stephen Mumford and Matthew Tugby : Metaphysics and Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, Vii+244pp, £40 HB.Cristian Soto - 2015 - Metascience 24 (2):321-331.
    Debates on the metaphysics of science have steadily gained momentum over the last decade or so. This appears to illustrate a case of philosophers’ realisation that metaphysics—and theoretical philosophy overall—largely depends upon the sciences and has a good deal to learn from them. Recent literature on this, in fact, has reached an unforeseen high level of refinement in the arguments and a very much desirable precision in the consequences that we can derive from examining the interplay currently undergoing between science (...)
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  • Four Disputes About Properties.David M. Armstrong - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):309-320.
    In considering the nature of properties four controversial decisions must be made. (1) Are properties universals or tropes? (2) Are properties attributes of particulars, or are particulars just bundles of properties? (3) Are properties categorical (qualitative) in nature, or are they powers? (4) If a property attaches to a particular, is this predication contingent, or is it necessary? These choices seem to be in a great degree independent of each other. The author indicates his own choices.
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  • Dispositions.John Heil - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):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 (...)
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  • Objects, Discreteness, and Pure Power Theories: George Molnar’s Critique of Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties. [REVIEW]Sharon R. Ford - 2012 - Metaphysica 13 (2):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 (...)
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  • Counterlegals and Necessary Laws.By Toby Handfield - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):402–419.
    Necessitarian accounts of the laws of nature have an apparent difficulty in accounting for counterlegal conditionals because, despite appearing to be substantive, on the necessitarian thesis they are vacuous. I argue that the necessitarian may explain the apparently substantive content of such conditionals by pointing out the presuppositions of counterlegal discourse. The typical presupposition is that a certain conceptual possibility has been realized; namely, that necessitarianism is false. (The idea of conceptual possibility is explicated in terms of recent work in (...)
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  • Natural Kinds.Emma Tobin & Alexander Bird - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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