Nordic Network in metaphysics

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Abstract: E B Gundersen

Dispositional theories and theories about dispositions

Abstract: Dispositional theories have been considered for a wide range of phenomena, from traditional secondary qualities such as colours, over moral and aesthetic values, to basic rule-following and linguistic meaning. Authors writing on dispositional theories of particular domains tend to presuppose that there is a shared understanding of what dispositions are. But dispositions are subject to a similar debate as those in which dispositional theories are advanced as (one type of) solutions. The various views of dispositions – including ‘real power views’ that construe dispositions as sui generis properties, views that identify them with their bases, or with patterns of stimuli and manifestations across possible worlds, and irrealist views – have very different implications for corresponding dispositional theories of particular domains. Some of these implications are outlined for each of a selection of main views on dispositions.

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