Download Dispositions and Causes (Mind Association Occasional Series) by Toby Handfield PDF

By Toby Handfield

Toby Handfield (ed.)

In contemporary many years, the research of causal kin has develop into a subject matter of valuable value in analytic philosophy. extra lately, dispositional houses have additionally develop into items of extreme research. either one of those phenomena seem to be in detail with regards to counterfactual conditionals and different modal phenomena corresponding to goal probability, yet little paintings has been performed to at once relate them. inclinations and explanations comprises ten essays through students operating in either metaphysics
and in philosophy of technology, studying the relation among dispositional and causal innovations.

Particular concerns mentioned comprise the potential for lowering inclinations to motives, and vice versa; the opportunity of a nominalist idea of causal powers; the try to lessen all metaphysical necessity to dispositional houses; the connection among inclinations, reasons, and legislation of nature; the function of causal capacities in explaining the good fortune of clinical inquiry; the grounding of inclinations and factors in goal percentages; and the kind of causal energy required at no cost supplier.

The introductory bankruptcy includes a certain evaluate of modern paintings within the zone, offering a necessary access to the literature for non-specialists.


"Dispositions and reasons bargains stimulating examining within the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of technology. The papers enhance dialogue at the metaphysics of inclinations and supply demanding situations for the dispositionalist to contemplate. will probably be fascinating to work out how these demanding situations could be addressed in response." --Philosophy in Review


1: Toby Handfield: The metaphysics of inclinations and causes
2: Jennifer McKitrick: inclinations, motives, and reduction
3: Antony Eagle: Causal structuralism, dispositional actualism, and counterfactual conditionals
4: Stephen Barker: Leaving issues to take their percentages: reason and disposition grounded in chance
5: Nancy Cartwright: Causal legislation, coverage predictions, and the necessity for actual powers
6: Richard Corry: How is clinical research possible?
7: Timothy O'Connor: Agent-causal power
8: Alexander fowl: Structural houses revisited
9: Ann Whittle: Causal nominalism
10: Marc Lange: Why do the legislation clarify why?

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Additional resources for Dispositions and Causes (Mind Association Occasional Series)

Sample text

The obtaining of counterfactuals concerning C and E may be a reliable symptom of a case of causation, but cannot be constitutive of that causation. On this second route, however, we encounter a time-honoured and recalcitrant question: what is this ‘real connection’, and how ³⁴ This sort of approach might harmonize especially neatly with that of Ann Whittle (this volume), who attempts to treat essentially power-conferring properties in a nominalist fashion, as simply being the obtaining of conditional predicates.

The regularities we typically observe, whereby phosphorus and oxygen react under the stimulus of heat, do not occur in such a world, or at least do not feature in the optimal systematization of contingent fact. Hence there are no laws regarding the combustion of phosphorus, and the relevant counterfactual—‘had the match not been struck, it would not have lit’—is false. Armstrong, as a non-Humean, eschews this extrinsic account of the causal relation, and believes it to be an intrinsic relation (2004: 456).

Different causal sequences will warrant different disposition claims and identical histories will warrant the same disposition claims. This suggests that possible worlds which agree on causal facts must agree on disposition facts; global supervenience, a necessary condition for reduction, seems to hold. However, while this line of reasoning might justify explanatory reduction, it is a bit out of place in arguing for metaphysical reduction. The question of which disposition claims we are justified in believing is different from the question of which disposition claims are true—which dispositions things have.

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