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The Empiricist Account of Dispositions

  • R. S. Woolhouse
Part of the Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures book series (RIPL)

Abstract

Nelson Goodman has written that

Besides the observable properties it exhibits and the actual processes it undergoes, a thing is full of threats and promises. The dispositions or capacities of a thing — its flexibility, its inflammability, its solubility — are no less important to us than its overt behaviour, but they strike us by comparison as rather ethereal. And so we are moved to inquire whether we can bring them down to earth; whether, that is, we can explain disposition terms without any reference to occult powers.1

Keywords

Categorical Basis Tensed Form Material Implication True Today Empiricist Account 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    N. Goodman, Fact, Fiction, and Forecast, 2nd ed. (Indianapolis, Indiana, 1965) p. 40.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    R. Carnap, ‘Testability and Meaning’, Classics of Analytic Philosophy, ed. R.R. Ammerman (New York, 1965) p. 145, andGoogle Scholar
  3. ‘Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts’, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, I, ed. H. Feigl, M. Scriven (Minneapolis, 1956) p. 63Google Scholar
  4. C. G. Hempel, Aspects of Scientific Explantation (New York, 1965) p. 109Google Scholar
  5. A. Pap, ‘Are physical magnitudes operationally definable?’, Measurement: Definitions and Theories, ed. C.W. Churchman, P. Tatoosh (New York, 1959) p. 178.Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    G. Ryle, The Concept of Mind (London, 1949) pp. 43, 123 (my italics).Google Scholar
  7. 2.
    See Carnap’s ‘Logical Foundations of the Unity of Science’, Readings in Philosophical Analysis, ed. H. Feigl, W. Sellars (New York, 1949) p. 416;Google Scholar
  8. Hempel’s ‘Methods of concept formation in science’, Foundations of the Unity of Science, II, ed. O Neurath, R. Carnap, C. Morris (Chicago and London, 1970) pp. 676–7Google Scholar
  9. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (London, 1963) p. 280, andGoogle Scholar
  10. ‘Dispositional concepts and extensional logic’, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, II, ed. H. Feigl, M. Scriven, G. Maxwell (Minneapolis, 1958) p. 198.Google Scholar
  11. See also R. B. Braithwaite, ‘The nature of believing’, Knowledge and Belief, ed. A. Phillips Griffiths (London, 1967) p. 35Google Scholar
  12. J.L. Mackie, Truth Probability and Paradox (London, 1973) pp. 123–7Google Scholar
  13. and H. H. Price, Belief (London, 1969) pp. 246–7.Google Scholar
  14. 1.
    W. S. Sellars, Philosophical Perspectives (Springfield, Illinois, 1969) p. 119.Google Scholar
  15. 2.
    N. Rescher, ‘On the logic of chronological propositions’, Mind, LXXV (1966).Google Scholar
  16. 1.
    D. M. Armstrong, A Materialist Theory of the Mind (London, 1968) p.86.Google Scholar
  17. 2.
    J. F. Bennett, Locke, Berkeley, Hume (Oxford, 1971) p. 105.Google Scholar
  18. 1.
    W. P. Alston, ‘Dispositons and Occurences’, Canadian Journal of Philosphy, I (1971) p. 143.Google Scholar
  19. See also C. D. Broad, An Examination of McTaggart’s Philosophy, I (Cambridge, 1933) p. 271Google Scholar
  20. H. H. Price, Thinking and Experience, 2nd. ed. (London, 1969) p. 322.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Institute of Philosophy 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Woolhouse

There are no affiliations available

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