Single Idea 11946

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 7. Against Powers]

Full Idea

Propensities should not be regarded as inherent in an object, such as a die or a penny, but should be regarded as inherent in a situation (of which, of course, the object was part).

Gist of Idea

Propensities are part of a situation, not part of the objects


Karl Popper (A World of Propensities [1993], p.14), quoted by George Molnar - Powers 6.2

Book Reference

Molnar,George: 'Powers: a study in metaphysics', ed/tr. Mumford,Stephen [OUP 2003], p.106

A Reaction

Molnar argues against this claim, and I agree with him. We can see why Popper might prefer this relational view, given that powers often only become apparent in unusual relational situations.