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The Four-Category OntologyA Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science$
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E. J. Lowe

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199254397.001.0001

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Dispositions and Natural Laws

Dispositions and Natural Laws

Chapter:
(p.121) 8 Dispositions and Natural Laws
Source:
The Four-Category Ontology
Author(s):

E. J. Lowe (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199254397.003.0008

The customary distinction between dispositional and categorical properties is critically examined, and replaced by one between dispositional and occurrent predication. The ontological ground of the latter distinction is explained using the framework of the four-category ontology. An account is sketched of the ontological status of laws of nature, and its similarities to and differences from D. M. Armstrong’s account are discussed, particularly the key role in the new account of the categorial distinction between substantial and non-substantial universals. A theory of natural powers is advanced and contrasted with the recent theories of C. B. Martin and George Molnar.

Keywords:   D. M. Armstrong, categories, dispositions, laws of nature, C. B. Martin, George Molnar, natural powers, predication, universals

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