The Bare Metaphysical Possibility of Bare Dispositions
McKitrick (Jennifer)
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 66, No. 2 (Mar., 2003), pp. 349-369
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Author’s Abstract

  1. Many philosophers hold that all dispositions must have independent causal bases.
  2. I challenge this view, hence defending the possibility of bare dispositions.
    1. In part 1, I explain more fully what I mean by "disposition," "causal basis," and "bare disposition."
    2. In part 2, I consider the claim that the concept of a disposition entails that dispositions are not bare.
    3. In part 3, I consider arguments, due to Prior, Pargetter, and Jackson, that dispositions necessarily have distinct causal bases.
    4. In part 4, I consider arguments by Smith and Stoljar that there can't be bare dispositions because they would make for unwelcome "barely true" counterfactuals.
  3. In the end, I find no reason to deny the possibility of bare dispositions.

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