Limitations of Power

Alexander Bird

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Abstract

An ontology of powers—essentially dispositional natural properties—has recently become popular, and consequently philosophers have sought to apply this ontol- ogy to a number of problems and areas outside fundamental metaphysics, such as those concerning causation, intentionality, and free will. In this paper I warn against over-extending the case for a powers ontology: the powers ontology cannot answer typical questions outside fundamental metaphysics. I suggest that proposals that attempt to do this suffer from a conflation of ‘power’ and ‘disposition’ or from an abuse of metaphor.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationPowers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism
EditorsRuth Groff, John Greco
PublisherRoutledge
Pages25-47
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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