I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers at Ratio for their insightful and useful comments on earlier drafts.
The Truthmaking Argument Against Dispositionalism
Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
How to Cite
Austin, C. J. (2014), The Truthmaking Argument Against Dispositionalism. Ratio. doi: 10.1111/rati.12071
- Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014
According to dispositionalism, de re modality is grounded in the intrinsic natures of dispositional properties. Those properties are able to serve as the ground of de re modal truths, it is said, because they bear a special relation to counterfactual conditionals, one of truthmaking. However, because dispositionalism purports to ground de re modality only on the intrinsic natures of dispositional properties, it had better be the case that they do not play that truthmaking role merely in virtue of their being embedded in some particular, extrinsic causal context. This paper examines a recent argument against dispositionalism that purports to show that the intrinsicality of that relation cannot be maintained, due to the ceteris paribus nature of the counterfactuals that dispositions make-true. When two prominent responses are examined, both are found wanting: at best, they require unjustified special pleading, and at worst, they amount to little more than ad hoc conceptual trickery.1