5 publications that cite Place (1999b). Intentionality and the physical - a reply to Mumford.
Marmodoro, A. (2010). Do powers need powers to make them powerful? From pandispositionalism to Aristotle In A. Marmodoro (Ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations (pp. 337 - 352). Routledge.
[Abstract]Do powers have powers? More urgently, do powers need further powers to do what powers do? Stathis Psillos says they do. He finds this a fatal flaw in the nature of pure powers: pure powers have a regressive nature. Their nature is incoherent to us, and they should not be admitted into the ontology. I argue that pure powers do not need further powers; rather, they do what they do because they are powers. I show that at the heart of Psillos’ regress is a metaphysical division he assumes between a pure power to φ and its directedness towards the manifestation of φ-ing, i.e. between a pure power and its essence. But such an ontological division between an entity and its essence has already been shown by Aristotle to be detrimental, condemning the entity to a regressive nature. I show that Psillos’ regress is but an instance of Aristotle’s regress argument on the relation between an entity and its essence. I compare Aristotle’s, Bradley’s, and Psillos’ regresses, showing that Bradley’s and Psillos’ (different) conclusions from the regress arguments lead to impasses. I then build on Aristotle’s directive against regressive natures, arguing with him that an entity is not other than its nature (being divided from its nature by a relation between them). Rather, an entity is an instantiated nature itself. The Aristotelian position I put forward explains how the oneness of the entity is achieved by its being an instance of a type. Thus, the regress is blocked, and the nature of pure powers is shown to pose no threats of an ontological or epistemological kind, if physics gave us reasons to posit pure powers.
[Citing Place (1996g)]  [Citing Place (1999b)]
McKitrick, J. A case for extrinsic dispositions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 81(2), 155-174. doi:10.1080/713659629
[Abstract]Many philosophers think that dispositions are necessarily intrinsic. However, there are no good positive arguments for this view. Furthermore, many properties (such as weight, visibility, and vulnerability) are dispositional but are not necessarily shared by perfect duplicates. So, some dispositions are extrinsic. I consider three main objections to the possibility of extrinsic dispositions: the Objection from Relationally Specified Properties, the Objection from Underlying Intrinsic Properties, and the Objection from Natural Properties. These objections ultimately fail.
[Citing Place (1999b) in context]
Oderberg, D.S. (2017). Finality revived: powers and intentionality. Synthese, 194, 2387–2425. doi:10.1007/s11229-016-1057-5
[Abstract]Proponents of physical intentionality argue that the classic hallmarks of intentionality highlighted by Brentano are also found in purely physical powers. Critics worry that this idea is metaphysically obscure at best, and at worst leads to panpsychism or animism. I examine the debate in detail, finding both confusion and illumination in the physical intentionalist thesis. Analysing a number of the canonical features of intentionality, I show that they all point to one overarching phenomenon of which both the mental and the physical are kinds, namely finality. This is the finality of ‘final causes’, the long-discarded idea of universal action for an end to which recent proponents of physical intentionality are in fact pointing whether or not they realise it. I explain finality in terms of the concept of specific indifference, arguing that in the case of the mental, specific indifference is realised by the process of abstraction, which has no correlate in the case of physical powers. This analysis, I conclude, reveals both the strength and weakness of rational creatures such as us, as well as demystifying (albeit only partly) the way in which powers work.
[Citing Place (1996g) in context]  [Citing Place (1999b) in context]
Ott W. (2021). The case against powers. In B. Hill, H. Lagerlund, & S. Psillos (Eds.), Reconsidering causal powers: Historical and conceptual perspectives (pp. 149-167). Oxford University Press.
[Abstract]Powers ontologies are currently enjoying a resurgence. This would be dispiriting news for the moderns; in their eyes, to imbue bodies with powers is to slide back into the scholastic slime from which they helped philosophy crawl. I focus on Descartes’s ‘little souls’ argument, which points to a genuine and, I think persisting, defect in powers theories. The problem is that an Aristotelian power is intrinsic to whatever has it. Once this move is accepted, it becomes very hard to see how humble matter could have such a thing. It is as if each empowered object were possessed of a little soul that directs it and governs its behavior. Instead of attempting to resurrect the Aristotelian power theory, contemporary philosophers would be best served by taking their inspiration from its early modern replacement, devised by John Locke and Robert Boyle. On this view, powers are internal relations, not monadic properties intrinsic to their bearers. This move at once drains away the mysterious directedness of Aristotelian powers and solves the contemporary version of the little souls argument, Neil Williams’s ‘problem of fit.’
[Citing Place (1999b) in context]
Williams, N. E. (2019). The powers metaphysic. Oxford University Press.
[Abstract]Systematic metaphysics is defined by its task of solving metaphysical problems through the repeated application of single, fundamental ontology. The dominant contemporary metaphysic is that of neo-Humeanism, built on a static ontology typified by its rejection of basic causal and modal features. This book offers a radically distinct metaphysic, one that turns the status quo on its head. Starting with a foundational ontology of inherently causal properties known as "powers", Neil E. Williams develops a metaphysic that appeals to powers in explanations of causation, persistence, laws, and modality. Powers are properties that have their causal natures internal to them: they are responsible for the effects in the world. A unique account of powers is advanced, one that understands this internal nature in terms of blueprint of potential interaction types. After the presentation of the powers ontology, Williams offers solutions to broad metaphysical puzzles, some of which take on different forms in light of the new tools that are available. The defence of the ontology comes from the virtues of metaphysic it can be used to develop. Particular attention is paid to the problems of causation and persistence, simultaneously solving them as is casts them in a new light. The resultant powers metaphysic is offered as a systematic alternative to neo-Humeanism.
[Citing Place (1996g)]  [Citing Place (1999b)]  [Citing Place (1999f)]