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Necessitarianism and Dispositions

Simone Gozzano
From the journal Metaphysica

Abstract

In this paper, I argue in favor of necessitarianism, the view that dispositions, when stimulated, necessitate their manifestations. After introducing and clarifying what necessitarianism does and does not amount to, I provide reasons to support the view that dispositions once stimulated necessitate their manifestations according to the stimulating conditions and the relevant properties at stake. In this framework, I will propose a principle of causal relevance and some conditions for the possibility of interference that allow us to avoid the use of ceteris paribus clauses. I then defend necessitarianism from recent attacks raised by, among others, Mumford and Anjum, noting that the antecedent strengthening test is a test for causal relevance that raises no difficulties for necessitarianism.

Acknowledgments

I wish to express my gratitude to Andrea Borghini, Gabriele Contessa, Donatella Donati, Mauro Dorato, Andrea Iacona, Giorgio Lando, Matteo Morganti, Alessio Santelli, Daniele Sgaravatti, and audience at the Roma3 conference on dispositions, for comments and suggestions on previous drafts.

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Published Online: 2020-01-15
Published in Print: 2020-04-28

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