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Five Sources of Contingency for Dispositionalism

Michele Paolini Paoletti
From the journal Metaphysica

Abstract

Law dispositionalism is the doctrine according to which laws of nature are grounded on powers/dispositions. In this article, I shall examine how certain laws of nature can turn out to be contingent on this view. First of all, I shall distinguish between two versions of law dispositionalism (i. e. a weak and a strong one) and I shall also single out two further theses that may be conjoined with it (i. e. strong and weak dispositional essentialism). I shall also single out four different sorts of laws of nature. Afterwards, I shall examine five sources of contingency for law dispositionalism: the contingent existence of the relevant entities involved in the laws; the contigent activation, background and possession conditions of the powers at stake; the presence of contingent constants in the laws; the presence of indeterministic powers; the presence of powers that are not essential to the entities involved in the laws.

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Published Online: 2020-01-07
Published in Print: 2020-04-28

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