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Sattig, Thomas


International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

Managing Editor: Koridze, Georg

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

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 R. / Seibt, Johanna / Simons, Peter / Smith, Barry / Strobach, Niko / Trettin, Käthe / Wachter, Daniel

CiteScore 2018: 0.29

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Powerful Qualities or Pure Powers?

Gabriele Contessa
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  • Department of Philosophy, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada
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Published Online: 2019-02-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2019-2003


This paper explores the debate between those philosophers who take (fundamental, perfectly natural) properties to be pure powers and those who take them to be powerful qualities. I first consider two challenges for the view that properties are powerful qualities, which I call, respectively, ‘the clarification challenge’ and ‘the explanatory challenge’. I then examine a number of arguments that aim to show that properties cannot be pure powers and find them all wanting. Finally, I sketch what I take to be the most promising argument against pure powers and for powerful qualities.

Keywords: dispositions; powers; qualities; pure powers; powerful qualities


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About the article

Published Online: 2019-02-12

Published in Print: 2019-04-24

Citation Information: Metaphysica, Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 5–33, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2019-2003.

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