Vetter, Barbara, and . Dispositions without conditionals

2014, Mind 123(489): 129-156.

Abstract: Dispositions are modal properties. The standard conception of dispositions holds that each disposition is individuated by its stimulus condition(s) and its manifestation(s), and that their modality is best captured by some conditional construction that relates stimulus to manifestation as antecedent to consequent. In this paper Vetter proposes an alternative conception of dispositions: each disposition is individuated by its manifestation alone, and its modality is closest to that of possibility – a fragile vase, for instance, is one that can break easily. The view is expounded in some detail and defended against the major objections.

Comment: This article serves as a complementary reading for the book Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality, or as a replacement for those who are only interested in Vetter's analysis of dispositions and not in her entire theory of potentialities. Recommendable for postgraduate courses in philosophy of language, metaphysics or philosophy of science.