Chapter

How agent-causation works II: the irreducibility of powers

Erasmus Mayr

in Understanding Human Agency

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606214
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731631 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606214.003.0008
How agent-causation works II: the irreducibility of powers

Show Summary Details

Preview

It is shown that powers are both conceptually and ontologically irreducible to non-power (i.e. categorical) properties. This involves both rejecting the three most influential conceptual analyses of power-ascriptions – the simple conditional analysis, the causal conditional analysis, and Lewis' reformed causal conditional analysis – and the view that instantiations of powers are identical to instantiations of non-power properties. In the last section, it is shown that accepting powers as genuine and irreducible properties does not commit one to the doctrines of essentialism or ‘natural necessity’.

Keywords: powers; conceptual irreducibility; simple conditional analysis; causal conditional analysis; Lewis; ontological irreducibility; essentialism; natural necessity

Chapter.  14857 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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.