Abilities, Faculties, Powers, and Dispositions

Anthony Kenny

in The Metaphysics of Mind

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780192830708
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670527 | DOI:
Abilities, Faculties, Powers, and Dispositions

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that discussing abilities, and indeed dispositions and attributes of all kinds, the philosopher must be constantly on his guard against the temptation to hypostatize them, that is to say, to treat them as if they were substances or parts or ingredients of substances. A power or capacity must not be thought of as a thing in its own right, for instance as a flimsy actuality or an incorporeal vehicle. The difference between a power and its exercise or vehicle is a category difference, not a difference like that between solid and shadow.

Keywords: ability; power; capacity; catergory difference

Chapter.  8227 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.