Single Idea 15554

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived]

Full Idea

I take for granted that a disposition requires a causal basis: one has the disposition iff one has a property that occupies a certain causal role. Shall we then identify the disposition with its basis? That makes the disposition cause its manifestations.

Gist of Idea

A disposition needs a causal basis, a property in a certain causal role. Could the disposition be the property?


David Lewis (Causal Explanation [1986], III)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Philosophical Papers Vol.2' [OUP 1986], p.223

A Reaction

Introduce the concept of a 'power' and I see no problem with his proposal. Fundamental dispositions are powerful, and provide the causal basis for complex dispositions. Something had better be powerful.