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Oxford Studies in Metaphysics volume 7$
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Karen Bennett and Dean W. Zimmerman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659081

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659081.001.0001

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Goodbye, Humean Supervenience

Goodbye, Humean Supervenience

(p.129) 5. Goodbye, Humean Supervenience
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics volume 7

Troy Cross

Oxford University Press

Humean supervenience, at least in its familiar Lewisian guise, harbors an internal inconsistency. Suppose that: (1) fundamental properties are categorical; (2) fundamental properties endow objects with different dispositions in different possible worlds; and (3) properties are individuated by sets of their possible instances. This chapter demonstrates that if (2) is true, then every fundamental property necessarily correlates with a unique disposition. Therefore, by (3), every fundamental property is identical to a disposition, contrary to (1). This inconsistency can be resolved only by acknowledging the dispositionality of fundamental properties, abandoning realism about dispositions, or allowing for the hyperintensional individuation of properties.

Keywords:   properties, dispositions, powers, categoricalism, Lewis, Shoemaker, humean supervenience

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