An Argument for the Extrinsic Grounding of Mass

Erkenntnis 74 (1):81-99 (2011)
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Abstract

Several philosophers of science and metaphysicians claim that the dispositional properties of fundamental particles, such as the mass, charge, and spin of electrons, are ungrounded in any further properties. It is assumed by those making this argument that such properties are intrinsic, and thus if they are grounded at all they must be grounded intrinsically. However, this paper advances an argument, with one empirical premise and one metaphysical premise, for the claim that mass is extrinsically grounded and is thus an extrinsic disposition. Although the argument concerns mass characterized as a disposition, it applies equally well whether mass is a categorical or dispositional property; however, the dispositional nature of mass is relevant to some important objections and implications discussed

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William A. Bauer
North Carolina State University

Citations of this work

Machian Comparativism about Mass.Niels C. M. Martens - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):325-349.
Toying with the Toolbox: How Metaphysics Can Still Make a Contribution.Steven French - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (2):211-230.
New powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2021 - Synthese 199:2671-2700.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.

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