LAWS AND ESSENCES
Article first published online: 16 NOV 2005
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 437–461, December 2005
How to Cite
Bird, A. (2005), LAWS AND ESSENCES. Ratio, 18: 437–461. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2005.00304.x
- Issue published online: 16 NOV 2005
- Article first published online: 16 NOV 2005
Those who favour an ontology based on dispositions are thereby able to provide a dispositional essentialist account of the laws of nature. In part 1 of this paper I sketch the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and the concomitant account of laws. In part 2, I characterise various claims about the modal character of properties that fall under the heading ‘quidditism’ and which are consequences of the categoricalist view of properties, which is the alternative to the dispositional essentialist view. I argue that quidditism should be rejected. In part 3, I address a criticism of a strong dispositional essentialist view, viz. that ‘structural’ (i.e. geometrical, numerical, spatial and temporal) properties must be regarded as categorical.