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Power Worlds and the Problem of Individuation

Tugby, Matthew

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Is it metaphysically possible for a world to contain power properties but no nonpower properties? Recently, much progress has been made by powers theorists to defend the coherence of such a possibility. But unfortunately, it remains unclear how the powers in a power world are individuated. The problem is that the most obvious principle of individuation for properties in a power world is one that is circular. In this paper, it is argued that this circularity is generated by a modal assumption, which is that different families of powers exist in different possible worlds. By rejecting this assumption, a noncircular principle of individuation for power properties can be formulated. Moreover, this solution is not ad hoc because there are independent reasons for rejecting the aforementioned modal assumption.


Tugby, M. (2017). Power Worlds and the Problem of Individuation. American Philosophical Quarterly, 54(3), 269-281

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 10, 2016
Publication Date Jul 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 1, 2018
Journal American Philosophical Quarterly
Print ISSN 0003-0481
Electronic ISSN 2152-1123
Publisher University of Illinois Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 54
Issue 3
Pages 269-281
Publisher URL


Accepted Journal Article (149 Kb)

Copyright Statement
From American Philosophical Quarterly. Copyright 2017 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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