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The Metaphysics of Relations$
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Anna Marmodoro and David Yates

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198735878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735878.001.0001

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Is Powerful Causation an Internal Relation?

Is Powerful Causation an Internal Relation?

(p.138) 9 Is Powerful Causation an Internal Relation?
The Metaphysics of Relations

David Yates

Oxford University Press

In this chapter it is argued that there is a tension in the view that powerful causation is an internal relation. Powers are ontologically dependent on other powers for their individuation, but in that case—given an Aristotelian conception of properties as immanent universals—powers will not be intrinsic on several extant analyses of ‘intrinsic’, since to possess a given power P requires the existence of other concrete particulars as bearers of the powers that individuate P. Several ways to resolve this tension are suggested, but it is argued that all tenable options involve individuative type-level causal relations between powers. While these individuative relations are internal in the sense that powers are essentially related, this is a different sense of ‘internal’ to the one that justifies reduction of token causal relations to the intrinsic powers of their relata, and does not license a reduction of the type-level relations.

Keywords:   internal relations, external relations, intrinsic properties, extrinsic properties, immanence, transcendence, causal relations, type causation, token causation, antireductionism

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