Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

Managing Editor: Koridze, Georg

Ed. by Hüntelmann, Rafael / Meixner, Uwe / Tegtmeier, Erwin

Together with Cumpa, Javier

Editorial Board: Addis, Laird / Davies, Brian / Hochberg, Herbert / Johansson, Ingvar / Kanzian, Christian / Klima, Gyula / Koons, Robert C / Künne, Wolfgang / Löffler, Winfried / Mulligan, Kevin / Nef, Frederic / Oaklander, Nathan / Oderberg, David / Orilia, Francesco / Plantinga, Alvin / Potrc, Matjaz / Rapp, Christof / Reicher-Marek, Maria Elisabeth / Schantz, Richard / Scholz, Oliver / Seibt, Johanna / Simons, Peter / Smith, Barry / Stoecker, Ralf / Strobach, Niko / Trettin, Käthe / Wachter, Daniel

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.111
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.530

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Power Individuation: A New Version of the Single-Tracking View

Michał Głowala
Published Online: 2015-06-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2015-0016


The paper answers three questions concerning power individuation: Can one power have various manifestations? If so, do they have to be unified in some way? If so, how exactly do they have to be unified? After a review of contemporary standpoints (Molnar, Lowe, Williams) I present a version of single-tracking view (inspired by Aquinas’s views on the individuation of powers) which is significantly different from contemporary single-tracking proposals of Molnar and Lowe. The main idea is that different sorts of powers have distinct ways of producing their manifestations, so a pair of different manifestations may require distinct powers of one kind, but just one and the same power of another kind. This suggests the form of the unifying description specific for powers. I argue (taking into account some alleged counterexamples) that all the manifestations of one power of some kind must fall under this sort of unifying description.

Keywords: individuation of powers; manifestations of powers; single-track powers; multi-track powers; metaphysics of powers


  • Anscombe, G. E. M. 1981. “Under a Description.” In Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind (Collected Philosophical Papers of G. E. M. Anscombe), edited by G. E. M. Anscombe, 2:208–19. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Aquinas T. 1980. Opera Omnia, Curante R. Busa SI. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog.Google Scholar

  • Arriaga, R. de. 1639. Cursus Philosophicus. Paris: Jacobus Quesnel.Google Scholar

  • Cartwright, N. 1983. How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

  • Handfield, T. 2010. “Dispositions, Manifestations, and Causal Structure.” In The Metaphysics of Powers. Their Grounding and Their Manifestations, edited by A. Marmodoro. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Heil, J. 2005. “Dispositions.” Synthese 144 (3):343–56.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Lowe, E. J. 2004. “Review of Powers. A Study in Metaphysics by George Molnar.” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):817–22.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lowe, E. J. 2010. “On the Individuation of Powers.” In The Metaphysics of Powers, edited by A. Marmodoro. New York: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Lowe, E. J. 2011. “How Not to Think of Powers. A Deconstruction of the ‘Dispositions and Conditionals’ Debate.” The Monist 94 (1):19–33.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Marmodoro, A. 2007. “The Union of Cause and Effect in Aristotle: Physics III, 3.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 32:205–32.Google Scholar

  • Marmodoro, A. 2015 (forthcoming). Aristotelian Powers at Work: Reciprocity Without Symmetry in Causation. In Causal Powers, edited by J. Jacobs Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • McKitrick, J. 2010. “Manifestations as Effects.” In The Metaphysics of Powers. Their Grounding and Their Manifestations, edited by A. Marmodoro. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Molnar, G. 2003. Powers. A Study in Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Mumford, S. 2004. Laws in Nature. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Mumford, S. 2009. “Passing Powers Around.” The Monist 92 (1):94–111.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mumford, S., and R. L. Anjum. 2011. Getting Causes from Powers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Ockham, G. de. 1980. Quodlibeta Septem, edited by J. C. Wey. New York: Franciscan Institute, St Bonaventure.Google Scholar

  • Oviedo, F. de. 1651. “Cursus Philosophicus.” Philippus Borde, Laurentius Arnaud et Claudius Rigaud, Lyon.Google Scholar

  • Runggaldier, E. 2012. “Potentiality in Scholasticism (Potentiae) and the Contemporary Debate on Powers.” In Metaphysics: Aristotelian, Scholastic, Analytic, edited by L. Novák, D. Novotný, P. Sousedik, D. Svoboda. Heusenstamm: Ontos Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Stump, E. 2013. “Emergence, Causal Powers, and Aristotelianism in Metaphysics.” In Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism, edited by R. Groff, J. Greco. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Vetter, B. 2013. “Multi-Track Dispositions.” The Philosophical Quarterly 251:330–52.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Williams, N. E. 2011. “Putting Powers Back on Multi-Track.” Philosophia 39:581–95.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-06-30

Published in Print: 2015-09-18

Citation Information: Metaphysica, Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages 231–252, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2015-0016.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in