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Ideas of J.H. Fetzer, by Text

[, fl. 1977, University of Kentucky. A well known conspiracy theorist.]

1977 A World of Dispositions
Intro p.397 All structures are dispositional, objects are dispositions sets, and events manifest dispositions
     Full Idea: I propose a dispositional ontology for the physical world, according to which a) every structural property is a dispositional one, b) a physical object is an ordered set of dispositions, and c) every event manifests a dispositional property of the world.
     From: J.H. Fetzer (A World of Dispositions [1977], Intro)
     A reaction: Mumford says this is consistent with ontology as a way of describing the world, rather than being facts about the world. I like Fetzer's sketch, which sounds to have a lot in common with 'process philosophy'.
2 p.405 Kinds are arrangements of dispositions
     Full Idea: Kinds of things are specific arrangements of dispositions.
     From: J.H. Fetzer (A World of Dispositions [1977], 2)
     A reaction: A 'disposition' doesn't seem quite the right word for what is basic to the physical world, though Harré and Madden make a good case for the 'fields' of physic being understood in that way. I prefer 'power', though that doesn't solve anything.
3 p.407 Lawlike sentences are general attributions of disposition to all members of some class
     Full Idea: Lawlike sentences are conceived as logically general dispositional statements attributing permanent dispositional properties to every member of a reference class. ...Their basic form is that of subjunctive generalizations.
     From: J.H. Fetzer (A World of Dispositions [1977], 3)
     A reaction: I much prefer talk of 'lawlike sentences' to talk of 'laws'. At least they imply that the true generalisations about nature are fairly fine-grained. Why not talk of 'generalisations' instead of 'laws'? Fetzer wants dispositions to explain everything.
5 p.417 All events and objects are dispositional, and hence all structural properties are dispositional
     Full Idea: Every atomic event in the world's history is a manifestation of some dispositional property of the world and every physical object is an instantiation of some set of dispositions; hence, every structural property is dispositional in kind.
     From: J.H. Fetzer (A World of Dispositions [1977], 5)
     A reaction: I quite like this drastic view, but there remains the intuition that there must always be something which has the disposition. That may be because I have not yet digested the lessons of modern physics.