Category Archives: Questions, thoughts, etc.

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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Posted in Contemporary analytic metaphysics, Questions, thoughts, etc., Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Locke on powers, etc.

I’ve been pouring over Locke’s Essay.  One reason for doing so is that while straight-up passivists are usually (either expressly or deep down) Humeans, less overtly passivist positions in/elements of the contemporary powers-related discussion are, in key respects, recognizably Lockean.  … Continue reading

Posted in About powers, Causation, History of philosophy, Locke, Questions, thoughts, etc. | 4 Comments

Jonathan Webber on “Sublating the Free Will Problematic”

Comments generously given by Jonathan Webber on the paper that I posted recently (scroll down or look under “free will”).  I will reply a.s.a.p., but I invite others to weigh in also.  The topic of powers and free will is … Continue reading

Posted in About powers, Free Will, Publicize your work, Questions, thoughts, etc. | Leave a comment

Causal mechanisms

Quick: What’s the difference between a causal mechanism and a (productive) cause? I bet you will say that the causal mechanism is the “means whereby” the cause causes what it causes.  Insulin lowers blood sugar … <wait for it> … … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Publicize your work, Questions, thoughts, etc. | 3 Comments

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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Substances, Sociological Formations & Categorical Properties

I’m starting to think that there is a relationship between a commitment to the existence of entities with form (substances or sociological substance-analogues) and holding Brian Ellis’ so-called “mixed view” of properties, according to which some properties of things are … Continue reading

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Disambiguating anti-passivism, essentialism & necessitarianism

Here is a simple thought that I think is worth taking very seriously. The following three things are different, one from another: (1) powers; (2) essences; (3) causal necessitation. Andrea comments below that he would add “dispositions” to the list.  … Continue reading

Posted in About powers, Contemporary analytic metaphysics, Questions, thoughts, etc. | 3 Comments

Stephen Mumford: Can We Know Powers?

Thanks to Stephen for this post! * * * * A problem that has troubled me for some time concerns our knowledge of powers. Powers are supposed to be perfectly naturalistic elements of our world and accordingly should be epistemically … Continue reading

Posted in About powers, Contemporary analytic metaphysics, Epistemology, Methodology, Questions, thoughts, etc. | 3 Comments

Re: Brian Ellis’ claim that powers are energy transfers

Here’s a thought for the analytic metaphysics crew. In Scientific Essentialism, Brian Ellis argued that the basic metaphysical categories include substance kinds, process kinds and property kinds (in later writings he has moved to subsume substance kinds into process kinds; … Continue reading

Posted in About powers, Contemporary analytic metaphysics, Questions, thoughts, etc. | 1 Comment

Dan Little: Applied metaphysics!

All — I wonder whether “applied metaphysics” is of interest to this group. For example, here is something I set out to do in my treatment of Albert Soboul’s ontology of the French Revolution in New Contributions to the Philosophy … Continue reading

Posted in Metaphysics & social theory, Questions, thoughts, etc. | 2 Comments