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  1. Tropes, Unmanifested Dispositions and Powerful Qualities.Ashley Coates - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (5):2143-2160.
    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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  • The Dispositional Essentialist View of Properties and Laws.Anjan Chakravartty - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):393 – 413.
    One view of the nature of properties has been crystallized in recent debate by an identity thesis proposed by Shoemaker. The general idea is that there is for behaviour. Well-known criticisms of this approach, however, remain unanswered, and the details of its connections to laws nothing more to being a particular causal property than conferring certain dispositions of nature and the precise ontology of causal properties stand in need of development. This paper examines and defends a dispositional essentialist account of (...)
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  • New Foundations of Dispositionalism - Introduction.Andrea Raimondi & Lorenzo Azzano - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-26.
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  • Agent-Causation Revisited: Origination and Contemporary Theories of Free Will.Thad Botham - 2008 - Berlin, Germany: Verlag D Müller.
    Sometimes you make a choice. Whether or not you made it was up to you. The choice was free. But how can this be? A scientific view of the world may leave no room for free choice. Free will literature continually explodes. Yet experts still focus on control or on a power to do otherwise. Sadly, they neglect another intuitive feature of free will: being an underived source or ultimate originator. When acting freely, one is a self-determined, self-directed, sole author (...)
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  • On Powers BSAs.Toby Friend - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Can the desire for efficiently systematised theories in science be explained from within a powers metaphysics? It is plausible that the traditional ‘Powers Theory of Laws’, endorsed by many friends of powers, does not alone provide such an explanation. This has led a number of recent authors to argue that a ‘Powers Best System Account’ of laws would be a preferable alternative. This account borrows a method for determining laws from the Humean and applies it to a reality of powers. (...)
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  • Quidditism and Contingent Laws.Umut Baysan - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (4):286-290.
    According to contingentism, laws of nature hold contingently. An objection to contingentism is that it implies quidditism, and therefore inherits its implausible consequences. This paper argues that this objection is misguided. Understood one way, quidditism is not an implication of contingentism, hence even if it has implausible consequences, these are not relevant to contingentism. Understood another way, quidditism is implied by contingentism, but it is less clear if this version of quidditism has the same implausible consequences. Whatever the merits of (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Quantity.Brent Mundy - 1987 - Philosophical Studies 51 (1):29 - 54.
    A formal theory of quantity T Q is presented which is realist, Platonist, and syntactically second-order (while logically elementary), in contrast with the existing formal theories of quantity developed within the theory of measurement, which are empiricist, nominalist, and syntactically first-order (while logically non-elementary). T Q is shown to be formally and empirically adequate as a theory of quantity, and is argued to be scientifically superior to the existing first-order theories of quantity in that it does not depend upon empirically (...)
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  • Regularities, Natural Patterns and Laws of Nature.Stathis Psillos - 2014 - Theoria 29 (1):9-27.
    The goal of this paper is to sketch an empiricist metaphysics of laws of nature. The key idea is that there are regularities without regularity-enforcers. Differently put, there are natural laws without law-makers _of a distinct metaphysical kind_. This sketch will rely on the concept of a natural pattern and more significantly on the existence of a network of natural patterns in nature. The relation between a regularity and a pattern will be analysed in terms of mereology. Here is the (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • The laws of modality.Matthew Tugby - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2597-2618.
    Nomic realists have traditionally put laws to work within a theory of natural modality, in order to provide a metaphysical source for causal necessitation, counterfactuals, and dispositions. However, laws are well-suited to perform other work as well. Necessitation is a widespread phenomenon and includes cases of categorial, conceptual, grounding, mathematical and normative necessitation. A permissive theory of universals allows us to extend nomic realism into these other domains. With a particular focus on grounding necessitation, it is argued that the sorts (...)
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  • Quidditism Without Quiddities.Dustin Locke - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (3):345-363.
    Structuralism and quidditism are competing views of the metaphysics of property individuation: structuralists claim that properties are individuated by their nomological roles; quidditists claim that they are individuated by something else. This paper (1) refutes what many see as the best reason to accept structuralism over quidditism and (2) offers a methodological argument in favor of a quidditism. The standard charge against quidditism is that it commits us to something ontologically otiose: intrinsic aspects of properties, so-called ‘quiddities’. Here I grant (...)
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  • Concepts of Law of Nature.Brendan Shea - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Illinois
    Over the past 50 years, there has been a great deal of philosophical interest in laws of nature, perhaps because of the essential role that laws play in the formulation of, and proposed solutions to, a number of perennial philosophical problems. For example, many have thought that a satisfactory account of laws could be used to resolve thorny issues concerning explanation, causation, free-will, probability, and counterfactual truth. Moreover, interest in laws of nature is not constrained to metaphysics or philosophy of (...)
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  • 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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  • How Ontology Might Be Possible: Explanation and Inference in Metaphysics.Chris Swoyer - 1999 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):100–131.
  • Imprints in Time: Towards a Moderately Robust Past.Michael Longenecker - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2429-2446.
    Presentism says that only present objects exist. But the view has trouble grounding past-tensed truths like “dinosaurs existed”. Standard Eternalism grounds those truths by positing the existence of past objects—like dinosaurs. But Standard Eternalism conflicts with the intuition that there is genuine change—the intuition that there once were dinosaurs and no longer are any. I offer a novel theory of time—‘The Imprint’—that does a better job preserving both the grounding and genuine change intuitions. The Imprint says that the past and (...)
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  • Counterfactual Similarity, Nomic Indiscernibility, and the Paradox of Quidditism.Andrew D. Bassford & C. Daniel Dolson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Aristotle is essentially human; that is, for all possible worlds metaphysically consistent with our own, if Aristotle exists, then he is human. This is a claim about the essential property of an object. The claim that objects have essential properties has been hotly disputed, but for present purposes, we can bracket that issue. In this essay, we are interested, rather, in the question of whether properties themselves have essential properties (or features) for their existence. We call those who suppose they (...)
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  • The Question of Realism for Powers.Lorenzo Azzano - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):329-354.
    In recent years, a new dispute has risen to prominence: the dispute between realists and anti-realists about causal powers. Albeit sometimes overlooked, the meta-ontological features of this “question of realism for powers” are quite peculiar. For friends and foes of causal powers have characterized their contrasting views in a variety of different ways; as existence claims, as semantic or truth-making claims, as fundamentality claims, as claims about the nature of certain properties. Not only does this multiplicity of interpretations make it (...)
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  • Against A Posteriori Functionalism.Marc A. Moffett - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):83-106.
    There are two constraints on any functionalist solution to the Mind-Body Problem construed as an answer to the question, “What is the relationship between the mental properties and relations (hereafter, simply the mental properties) and physical properties and relations?” The first constraint is that it must actually address the Mind-Body Problem and not simply redefine the debate in terms of other, more tractable, properties (e.g., the species-specific property of having human-pain). Such moves can be seen to be spurious by the (...)
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  • Scanlon’s Modal Metaphysics.Gideon Rosen - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):856-876.
    In Being Realistic About Reasons T. M. Scanlon argues that particular fact about reasons are explained by contingent non-normative facts together with pure normative principles. A question then arises about the modal status of these pure principles. Scanlon maintains that they are necessary in a sense, and suggests that they are ‘metaphysically’ necessary. I argue that the best view for Scanlon to take, given his other commitments, is that these pure normative principles are metaphysically contingent in some cases and necessary (...)
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  • A Powers Theory of Modality: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Reject Possible Worlds.Jonathan D. Jacobs - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):227-248.
    Possible worlds, concrete or abstract as you like, are irrelevant to the truthmakers for modality—or so I shall argue in this paper. First, I present the neo-Humean picture of modality, and explain why those who accept it deny a common sense view of modality. Second, I present what I take to be the most pressing objection to the neo-Humean account, one that, I argue, applies equally well to any theory that grounds modality in possible worlds. Third, I present an alternative, (...)
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  • Property Identity.Paul Audi - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):829-840.
    The question of how properties are individuated is extremely important. Consider the following proposals. To be in pain is to be in a certain neurological state. To be red is to appear red to normal observers in standard conditions. To be obligatory is to maximize the good. Each makes a claim of property identity. Each is a substantive metaphysical thesis of wide interest. None can be studied with due scrutiny in the absence of a general account of property identity. Here, (...)
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  • Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science.Christopher Hitchcock (ed.) - 2004 - Blackwell.
    Showcasing original arguments for well-defined positions, as well as clear and concise statements of sophisticated philosophical views, this volume is an ...
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  • Modal Metaphysics and the Everett Interpretation (BA Thesis).Alastair Wilson - 2005 - Dissertation, Oxford
    Recent work on probability in the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics yields a decision-theoretic derivation of David Lewis’ Principal Principle, and hence a general metaphysical theory of probability; part 1 is a discussion of this remarkable result. I defend the claim that the ‘subjective uncertainty’ principle is required for the derivation to succeed, arguing that it amounts to a theoretical identification of chance. In part 2, I generalize this account, and suggest that the Everett interpretation, in combination with a plausible (...)
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  • Ramseyan Humility: The Response From Revelation and Panpsychism.Raamy Majeed - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):75-96.
    David Lewis argues for Ramseyan humility, the thesis that we can’t identify the fundamental properties that occupy the nomological roles at our world. Lewis, however, remarks that there is a potential exception to this, which involves assuming two views concerning qualia panphenomenalism : all instantiated fundamental properties are qualia and the identification thesis : we can know the identities of our qualia simply by being acquainted with them. This paper aims to provide an exposition, as well as an assessment, of (...)
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  • Properties.Francesco Orilia & Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Supervenience.Karen Bennett & Brian McLaughlin - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Supervenience.Brian McLaughlin - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Dispositions.Michael Fara - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The glass vase on my desk is fragile. It should be handled with care because it it is likely to shatter or crack if it is knocked, dropped, or otherwise treated roughly. The vase has certain dispositions, for example the disposition to shatter when dropped. But what is this disposition? It seems on the one hand to be a perfectly real property, a genuine respect of similarity common to glass vases, china cups, ancient manuscripts, and anything else fragile. Yet on (...)
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  • Dispositions.Sungho Choi - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • 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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  • Causal Necessitarianism and the Monotonicity Objection.Salim Hirèche - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2597-2627.
    Do causes necessitate their effects? Causal necessitarianism is the view that they do. One major objection—the “monotonicity objection”—runs roughly as follows. For many particular causal relations, we can easily find a possible “blocker”—an additional causal factor that, had it also been there, would have prevented the cause from producing its effect. However—the objection goes on—, if the cause really necessitated its effect in the first place, it would have produced it anyway—despite the blocker. Thus, CN must be false. Though different (...)
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  • Leis da Natureza.Eduardo Castro - 2013 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítics.
    State of art paper on the topic laws of nature, around the problem of identification what is to be a law of nature. The most prominent theories of contemporary philosophical literature are discussed and analysed, such as: the simple regularity theory, from Hume; the Mill-Ramsey-Lewis best systems theory; the Dretske-Tooley-Armstrong theory of laws as relations among universals; Ellis’s essentialist theory; Cartwright’s theory of laws as ceteris paribus laws; the anti-reductionist theories of Lange, Maudlin and Carroll, the anti-realist theories of Mumford, (...)
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  • Varieties of Necessity.Kit Fine - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford Up. pp. 253-281.
    It is argued that there are three main forms of necessity --the metaphysical, the natural and the normative--and that none of them is reducible to the others or to any other form of necessity. In arguing for a distinctive form of natural necessity, it is necessary to refute a version of the doctrine of scientific essentialism; and in arguing for a distinctive form of normative necessity, it is necessary to refute certain traditional and contemporary versions of ethical naturalism.
     
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  • Causal and Metaphysical Necessity.Shoemaker Sydney - 1998 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1):59-77.
    Any property has two sorts of causal features: “forward‐looking” ones, having to do with what its instantiation can contribute to causing, and ldquo;backward‐looking” ones, having to do with how its instantiation can be caused. Such features of a property are essential to it, and properties sharing all of their causal features are identical. Causal necessity is thus a special case of metaphysical necessity. Appeals to imaginability have no more force against this view than they do against the Kripkean view that (...)
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  • The Extent of Metaphysical Necessity.Daniel Nolan - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):313-339.
    A lot of philosophers engage in debates about what claims are “metaphysically necessary”, and a lot more assume with little argument that some classes of claims have the status of “metaphysical necessity”. I think we can usefully replace questions about metaphysical necessity with five other questions which each capture some of what people may have had in mind when talking about metaphysical necessity. This paper explains these five other questions, and then discusses the question “how much of metaphysics is metaphysically (...)
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  • The Necessity of Naturalness.Joshua D. K. Brown & Nathan Wildman - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    Are properties perfectly natural (or not) relative to worlds, or are they perfectly natural (or not) tout court? That is, could there be a property P that is instanti-ated at worlds w1 and w2, and is perfectly natural at w1 but not at w2? Here, we offer an original argument for the non-world-relativity of perfect naturalness. Along the way, we reply to a prima facie compelling argument for the contin-gency of perfect naturalness, based upon the connection between natural prop-erties and (...)
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  • Alien Worlds, Alien Laws, and the Humean Conceivability Argument.Lok-Chi Chan, David Braddon-Mitchell & Andrew J. Latham - 2020 - Ratio 33 (1):1-13.
    Monism is our name for a range of views according to which the connection between dispositions and their categorical bases is intimate and necessary, or on which there are no categorical bases at all. In contrast, Dualist views hold that the connection between dispositions and their categorical bases is distant and contingent. This paper is a defence of Monism against an influential conceivability argument in favour of Dualism. The argument suggests that the apparent possibility of causal behaviour coming apart from (...)
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  • Scientific Law: A Perspectival Account.John F. Halpin - 2003 - Erkenntnis 58 (2):137-168.
    An acceptable empiricist account of laws of nature would havesignificant implications for a number of philosophical projects. For example, such an account may vitiate argumentsthat the fundamental constants of nature are divinelydesigned so that laws produce a life permittinguniverse. On an empiricist account, laws do not produce the universe but are designed by us to systematize theevents of a universe which does in fact contain life; so any ``fine tuning'' of natural law has a naturalistic explanation.But there are problems for (...)
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  • The Nomic Role Account of Carving Reality at the Joints.Peter Vallentyne - 1998 - Synthese 115 (2):171-198.
    Natural properties are those that carve reality at the joints. The notion of carving reality at the joints, however, is somewhat obscure, and is often understood in terms of making for similarity, conferring causal powers, or figuring in the laws of nature. I develop and assess an account of the third sort according to which carving reality at the joints is understood as having the right level of determinacy relative to nomic roles. The account has the attraction of involving very (...)
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  • Ontological Solutions to the Problem of Induction.Mohammad Mahdi Hatef - 2022 - Logos and Episteme 13 (1):65-74.
    The idea of the uniformity of nature, as a solution to the problem of induction, has at least two contemporary versions: natural kinds and natural necessity. Then there are at least three alternative ontological ideas addressing the problem of induction. In this paper, I articulate how these ideas are used to justify the practice of inductive inference, and compare them, in terms of their applicability, to see whether each of them is preferred in addressing the problem of induction. Given the (...)
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  • Physical and Metaphysical Necessity.Stephen Leeds - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):458–485.
    I propose a different way of thinking about metaphysical and physical necessity: namely that the fundamental notion of necessity is what would ordinarily be called "truth in all physically possible worlds" – a notion which includes the standard physical necessities and the metaphysical ones as well; I suggest that the latter are marked off not as a stricter kind of necessity but by their epistemic status. One result of this reconceptualization is that the Descartes-Kripke argument against naturalism need no longer (...)
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  • Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects.Robert D. Rupert - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
    The recent literature on mental causation has not been kind to nonreductive, materialist functionalism (‘functionalism’, hereafter, except where that term is otherwise qualified). The exclusion problem2 has done much of the damage, but the epiphenomenalist threat has taken other forms. Functionalism also faces what I will call the ‘problem of metaphysically necessary effects’ (Block, 1990, pp. 157-60, Antony and Levine, 1997, pp. 91-92, Pereboom, 2002, p. 515, Millikan, 1999, p. 47, Jackson, 1998, pp. 660-61). Functionalist mental properties are individuated partly (...)
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  • Supervenience-Based Formulations of Physicalism.Jessica Wilson - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):426-459.
    The physicalist thesis that all entities are nothing over and above physical entities is often interpreted as appealing to a supervenience-based account of "nothing over and aboveness”, where, schematically, the A-entities are nothing over and above the B-entities if the A-entities supervene on the B-entities. The main approaches to filling in this schema correspond to different ways of characterizing the modal strength, the supervenience base, or the supervenience connection at issue. I consider each approach in turn, and argue that the (...)
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  • Possibility. By Michael Jubien. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. Xv + 202.Amy Karofsky - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (5):723-733.
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  • Making Sense of Powerful Qualities.Ashley Coates - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8347-8363.
    According to the powerful qualities view, properties are both powerful and qualitative. Indeed, on this view the powerfulness of a property is identical to its qualitativity. Proponents claim that this view provides an attractive alternative to both the view that properties are pure powers and the view that they are pure qualities. It remains unclear, however, whether the claimed identity between powerfulness and qualitativity can be made coherent in a way that allows the powerful qualities view to constitute this sort (...)
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  • Laws and Essences.Alexander Bird - 2005 - Ratio 18 (4):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 (...)
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  • Ontological Dependence.Fabrice Correia - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1013-1032.
    'Ontological dependence' is a term of philosophical jargon which stands for a rich family of properties and relations, often taken to be among the most fundamental ontological properties and relations. Notions of ontological dependence are usually thought of as 'carving reality at its ontological joints', and as marking certain forms of ontological 'non-self-sufficiency'. The use of notions of dependence goes back as far as Aristotle's characterization of substances, and these notions are still widely used to characterize other concepts and to (...)
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  • Direct and converse applications: Two sides of the same coin?Daniele Molinini - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-21.
    In this paper I present two cases, taken from the history of science, in which mathematics and physics successfully interplay. These cases provide, respectively, an example of the successful application of mathematics in astronomy and an example of the successful application of mechanics in mathematics. I claim that an illustration of these cases has a twofold value in the context of the applicability debate. First, it enriches the debate with an historical perspective which is largely omitted in the contemporary discussion. (...)
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  • The Nomic Likelihood Account of Laws.Meacham Christopher - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    An adequate account of laws should satisfy at least five desiderata: it should provide a unified account of laws and chances, it should yield plausible relations between laws and chances, it should vindicate numerical chance assignments, it should accommodate dynamical and non-dynamical chances, and it should accommodate a plausible range of nomic possibilities. No extant account of laws satisfies these desiderata. This paper presents a non-Humean account of laws, the Nomic Likelihood Account, that does.
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