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Nature's MetaphysicsLaws and Properties$
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Alexander Bird

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227013

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227013.001.0001

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Dispositional Essentialism, Modality, and Intentionality

Dispositional Essentialism, Modality, and Intentionality

(p.99) 5 Dispositional Essentialism, Modality, and Intentionality
Nature's Metaphysics

Alexander Bird (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the relationship of dispositional essentialism to questions of modality and to intentionality. Armstrong criticizes dispositional essentialism on the ground that it leads to a Meinongian commitment to non-actual possibilia. It is shown that Armstrong's view is likewise committed to such entities; consequently any sensible view (i.e., not modal realism nor Megarian actualism) must accept them. Armstrong gives a similar criticism to the effect that dispositional essentialism takes properties to possess something very like intentionality, while Ellis and Place are happy to accept this. It is argued that dispositionally essential properties do not have any kind of intentionality.

Keywords:   potency, dispositional essentialism, modality, intentionality, possibilia, actualism, Armstrong, Ellis, Place

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