Chapter

Properties

John Heil

in The Universe As We Find It

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596201
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741876 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596201.003.0004
Properties

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The chapter promotes the idea that properties, ways substances are, are powerful qualities. The familiar distinction between categorical and dispositional properties is grounded in a confusion inherited from philosophers hoping to ‘analyze away’ talk of dispositions. A power or disposition is for a particular kind of manifestation with particular sorts of reciprocal manifestation partner, but a disposition need never be manifested. The idea that dispositions are relations stems from imagining that because dispositions are typically characterized ‘relationally’ — by reference to what they are for — it follows that dispositions are relations. Unger’s criticism of ‘scientiphicalism’ is examined and shown to be partly right, partly wrong. An account of secondary qualities as arrangements of primaries is advanced, and the idea that claims concerning contingency require no defense is questioned.

Keywords: substance; property; truthmaker; quality; power; disposition; manifestation; relation; primary quality; secondary quality; contingency; scientiphicalism, Unger

Chapter.  11401 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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