The Empiricist Account of Dispositions

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


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


Categorical Basis Tensed Form Material Implication True Today Empiricist Account 
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© Royal Institute of Philosophy 1976

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  • R. S. Woolhouse

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