more from Sydney Shoemaker

Single Idea 8547

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

Full Idea

It is possible to have the same power (e.g. being poisonous) in virtue of having very different properties. ..So it is in virtue of a thing's properties that the thing has the powers that it has.

Gist of Idea

One power can come from different properties; a thing's powers come from its properties


Sydney Shoemaker (Causality and Properties [1980], 03)

Book Reference

Shoemaker,Sydney: 'Identity, Cause and Mind' [OUP 2003], p.211

A Reaction

This strikes me as an accurate and helpful picture. It means that true properties give rise to powers, and categorial or relational or whimsical properties must have their ontological status judged by that standard.