The ontological commitments of dispositionalism

July 31, 2013 - August 2, 2013
Department of Christian Philosophy, University of Innsbruck/ Austria

Hotel Grauer Bär, Universitaetsstraße 5-7
Innsbruck 6020


  • Austrian Science Fund


Rani Lill Anjum
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Ruth Groff
Saint Louis University
John Heil
Washington University in St. Louis
Saint Louis University
Max Kistler
Pantnéon-Sorbonne Paris
Jonathan E. Lowe
Durham University
Anna Marmodoro
Oxford University
Stephen Mumford
University of Nottingham
Josef Quitterer
University of Innsbruck
Anne Sophie Spann
University of Innsbruck
Neil E. Williams
University at Buffalo


Anne Sophie Spann
University of Innsbruck
Daniel Wehinger
University of Innsbruck

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Dispositionalism or dispositional realism, i.e. the view that there are irreducible, causally efficacious dispositions or powers, is a position to be taken seriously within contemporary metaphysics. In recent decades, its proponents have mainly been concerned with showing that dispositionalism is a viable alternative to the highly influential Humean account of causation. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the ontological commitments of dispositional realism: which ontology does the assumption of irreducible powers suggest or even presuppose? Our conference aims at exploring this issue.
In particular, questions to be discussed are:

  • How should powers be ontologically categorized? Do they need bearers? If so, to which ontological category might such bearers belong?
  • Does dispositional realism favour an ontology of substances or events or tropes etc.?
  • Which account of persistence should dispositionalists endorse?
  • Are there irreducible powers only in the microphysical realm or also in the macrophysical realm?

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July 22, 2013, 12:00pm CET

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Custom tags:

#Powers, #Dispositions