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Dispositional realism without dispositional essences

Tugby, Matthew

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Dispositional realism, as we shall use the term, is a non-reductive, anti-Humean approach to dispositions which says that natural properties confer certain dispositions as a matter of metaphysical necessity. A strong form of dispositional realism is known as pan-dispositionalism, which is typically interpreted as the view that all natural properties are identical with, or essentially dependent on, dispositions. One of the most serious problems facing pan-dispositionalism is the conceivability objection, and the solution commonly offered by essentialists employs the so-called redescription strategy. In this paper I argue that this orthodox strategy fails in certain cases. This argument, in turn, shows that essentialist forms of dispositional realism are implausible. The discussion points us towards an improved version of dispositional realism. According to this new version, natural properties are not essentially dispositional but necessarily ground dispositions.


Tugby, M. (2022). Dispositional realism without dispositional essences. Synthese, 200(3), Article 222.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 14, 2021
Online Publication Date May 13, 2022
Publication Date 2022-06
Deposit Date May 17, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 17, 2022
Journal Synthese
Print ISSN 0039-7857
Electronic ISSN 1573-0964
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 200
Issue 3
Article Number 222
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Published Journal Article (919 Kb)

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