Philosophy 92 (1):21-49 (2017)

Sophie R. Allen
Keele University
This paper contrasts two metaphysical accounts of modality and properties: Modal Realism which treats possible entities as primitive; and Strong Dispositionalism in which metaphysical possibility and necessity are determined by actually existing dispositions or powers. I argue that Strong Dispositionalism loses its initial advantages of simplicity and parsimony over Modal Realism as it is extended and amended to account for metaphysical rather than just causal necessity. Furthermore, to avoid objections to its material and formal adequacy, Strong Dispositionalism requires a richer fundamental ontology which it cannot explicate without appealing either to possible worlds or to an account of counterfactual truth conditions, both of which Strong Dispositionalism was intended to replace.
Keywords modality  strong dispositionalism  modal realism  powers
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DOI 10.1017/s0031819116000577
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References found in this work BETA

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
Mathematical Truth.Paul Benacerraf - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.
What Numbers Could Not Be.Paul Benacerraf - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):47-73.

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