Category Archives: Contemporary analytic metaphysics

“Conceptualizing Causal Powers: Activity, Capacity, Essence, Necessitation”

Link to recent talk!  Comments, thoughts welcome! Paris talk, 2019

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Note on neutral monism vs. pandispositionalism

Short excerpt from ch. 5 of the book that I am currently writing, A Critical Introduction to Causal Powers & Dispositions “By 2004, Mumford had revised his view of properties. In place of the idea that properties are such that … Continue reading

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The Causal Criterion of Existence in the Context of Passivism

Finally a real post!  Albeit actually just a question to the hive-mind.  It’s this.  It seems to me that anyone who wants to say, of either (putative) dispositional properties or (putative) categorical properties (“putative” so as not to assume anything … Continue reading

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Substances, powers & necessitation

Some preliminary thoughts about substances and metaphysical necessitation, by way of Harre & Madden. Okay, the following is a view (as they say): “The relationship between causes and the effects that they bring about is one of metaphysical necessity, not … Continue reading

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“Powers, Essentialism & Agency …

… : A Reply to Alexander Bird.” Here, in talk form, is an overdue reply to my friend Alexander.  Presented by Skype to a conference on powers and essentialism organized by the philosophy department of American University in Beirut this … Continue reading

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Contemporary Humean Metaphysics & the Commodity Form

Hi all, Sorry for the hiatus.  I’ll try to think of some good ways to jump start conversation, but for now – though this might do it – here is an outline of a talk I’m set to give next … Continue reading

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A quick word about categorical properties

Contemporary debates over categorical properties – mention of such properties, even – very often involves people talking past one another. This did not used to be the case.  It used to be that everyone knew what a categorical property was … Continue reading

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Guest Post by Walter Ott — Powers Views in the History of Philosophy

Walter Ott is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia.  He is the author of Causation & Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy (Oxford, 2009) [which I liked a lot], among other things.  I’m completely on board … Continue reading

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What Does the 17th C. Have to Do With It?

This: In the 17th c., there was a lively argument about whether or not God created the world such that material objects have their own causal oomph.  To use the technical term.  Some said yes.  Some said no.  On the … Continue reading

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Dan Little on Mumford and Anjum, re: necessitation

http://understandingsociety.blogspot.com/2014/03/causal-necessity.html Dan writes:  “My issue with their argument is that I don’t think that logical sufficiency captures what causal theorists have in mind when they assert that the cause brings about its effect with some degree of necessity.” He concludes:  … Continue reading

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