Joaquim Giannotti
University of Birmingham
There is no consensus on the most adequate conception of the fundamental properties of our world. The pure powers view and the identity theory of powerful qualities claim to be promising alternatives to categoricalism, the view that all fundamental properties essentially contribute to the qualitative make-up of things that have them. The pure powers view holds that fundamental properties essentially empower things that have them with a distinctive causal profile. On the identity theory, fundamental properties are dispositional as well as qualitative, or powerful qualities. Despite the manifest difference, Taylor (2018) argues that pure powers and powerful qualities collapse into the same ontology. If this collapse objection were sound, the debate between the pure powers view and the identity theory of powerful qualities would be illusory: these views could claim the same advantages and would suffer the same problems. Here I defend an ontologically robust distinction between pure powers and powerful qualities. To accomplish this aim, I show that the collapse between pure powers and powerful qualities can be resisted. I conclude by drawing some positive implications of this result.
Keywords Pure powers  powerful qualities  dispositionalism  collapse objection  dispositional essentialism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.31820/ejap.17.1.2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,177
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
27 ( #420,870 of 2,499,418 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #102,041 of 2,499,418 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes