more from Sydney Shoemaker

Single Idea 15760

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 5. Powers and Properties]

Full Idea

A thing has a 'conditional power' when it has a power conditionally upon the possession of certain properties. ...We can then express my view by saying that properties are clusters of conditional powers.

Gist of Idea

Properties are clusters of conditional powers


Sydney Shoemaker (Causality and Properties [1980], 04)

Book Reference

Shoemaker,Sydney: 'Identity, Cause and Mind' [OUP 2003], p.213

A Reaction

His example is a knife-shaped thing, which conditionally cuts wood if it is made of steel. Shoemaker rejected this in 1998. Mumford/Anjum prefer the earlier view. Which is fundamental? Powers are simple and primitive. Properties are complex.