In recent decades, the analysis of causal relations has become a topic of central importance in analytic philosophy. More recently, dispositional properties have also become objects of intense study. Both of these phenomena appear to be intimately related to counterfactual conditionals and other modal phenomena such as objective chance, but little work has been done to directly relate them. Dispositions and Causes contains ten essays by scholars working inboth metaphysics and in philosophy of science, examining the relation between dispositional and causal concepts. Particular issues discussed include the possibility of reducing dispositions to causes, and vice versa; the possibility of a nominalist theory of causal powers; the attempt to reduce all metaphysical necessity to dispositional properties; the relationship between dispositions, causes, and laws of nature; the role of causal capacities in explaining the success of scientific inquiry; the grounding of dispositions and causes in objective chances; and the type of causal power required for freeagency. The introductory chapter contains a detailed overview of recent work in the area, providing a helpful entry to the literature for non-specialists.
- Publication Date:
- 05 / 02 / 2009