10 publications that cite Place (1999b). Intentionality and the physical - a reply to Mumford.

Borghini, A. (2009). Dispositions and Their Intentions. In G. Damschen, R. Schnepf, & K. Stüber: Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind (pp. 204-220). De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110211825.204
[Abstract]Dispositional Realism is the view according to which some denizens of reality – i.e., dispositions – are properties, may exist in the natural world, and have an irreducible modal character. Among Dispositional Realists, Charlie Martin, Ullin Place and George Molnar most notably argued that the modal character of dispositions should be understood in terms of their intentionality. Other Dispositional Realists, most notably Stephen Mumford, challenged this understanding of the modal character of dispositions. In this paper, I defend a fresh version of the intentional understanding of dispositions. I start by distinguishing between two questions about properties, respectively addressing their identity conditions and their individuation conditions. I, then, define categorical and dispositional properties in terms of their qualitative character, and examine their identity and individuation conditions. I conclude that the attribution of intentions is a conceptual tool introduced in order to alleviate the burdensome task of specifying the conditions of individuation of a disposition; however, such attribution does not affect the identity of a disposition.
[Citing Place (1996g)]  [Citing Place (1999b)]  

Ford, S. (2010). What fundamental properties suffice to account for the manifest world? Powerful structure [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Queensland. philpapers.org/go.pl?aid=FORWFP
[Abstract]This Thesis engages with contemporary philosophical controversies about the nature of dispositional properties or powers and the relationship they have to their non-dispositional counterparts. The focus concerns fundamentality. In particular, I seek to answer the question, ‘What fundamental properties suffice to account for the manifest world?’ The answer I defend is that fundamental categorical properties need not be invoked in order to derive a viable explanation for the manifest world. My stance is a field-theoretic view which describes the world as a single system comprised of pure power, and involves the further contention that ‘pure power’ should not be interpreted as ‘purely dispositional’, if dispositionality means potentiality, possibility or otherwise unmanifested power or ability bestowed upon some bearer. The theoretical positions examined include David Armstrong’s Categoricalism, Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties, Brian Ellis’s New Essentialism, Ullin Place’s Conceptualism, Charles Martin’s and John Heil’s Identity Theory of Properties and Rom Harré’s Theory of Causal Powers. The central concern of this Thesis is to examine reasons for holding a pure-power theory, and to defend such a stance. This involves two tasks. The first requires explaining what plays the substance role in a pure-power world. This Thesis argues that fundamental power, although not categorical, can be considered ontologically-robust and thus able to fulfil the substance role. A second task—answering the challenge put forward by Richard Swinburne and thereafter replicated in various neo-Swinburne arguments—concerns how the manifestly qualitative world can be explained starting from a pure-power base. The Light-like Network Account is put forward in an attempt to show how the manifest world can be derived from fundamental pure power.
CHAPTER 8 ULLIN PLACE: CONCEPTUALISM - OUTLINE 131 CHAPTER 9 ULLIN PLACE: CONCEPTUALISM - DISCUSSION 137 9.1 Truthmakers for Dispositional Properties 137 9.2 The Causal Role of the Microstructure 140 9.3 Summary and Conclusions 141
[Citing Place (1996c)]  [Citing Place (1996d)]  [Citing Place (1996e)]  [Citing Place (1996f)]  [Citing Place (1996g)]  [Citing Place (1999b)]  [Citing Place (1999f)]  

Friend, T. (2021). Megarian Variable Actualism. Synthese, 199, 10521–10541. doi:10.1007/s11229-021-03257-7
[Abstract]Megarian Actualism is the denial of unmanifesting powers. Aristotle called such a view ‘buffoonery’ and dispositionalists have provided compelling reasons for the contrary platitude that powers need not manifest. Even so, drawing on extant treatments of quantitative powers I’ll suggest that many of the powers which feature in quantitative lawlike equations are plausibly interpreted as Megarian. This is because the powers described by such equations are best understood as being directed towards all the values of exhaustive manifestation variables. I’ll discuss the prospects for generalising these Megarian characteristics to powers not typically represented in strict quantitative terms. The result will be a strong basis for a scientifically informed and plausible dispositionalist account: Megarian Variable Actualism.
[Citing Place (1999b) in context]  

Hannegan, W. (2018). Dispositional essentialism, directedness, and inclination to an end. Journal of Philosophical Research, 43, 191-204. doi:10.5840/jpr2018828132
[Abstract]Dispositional essentialists U. T. Place, George Molnar, and C. B. Martin hold that dispositions are intrinsically directed to their manifestations. Thomists have noted that this directedness is similar to Thomistic directedness to an end. I argue that Place, Molnar, and Martin would benefit from conceiving of dispositional directedness as the sort of directedness associated with Thomistic inclinations. Such Thomistic directedness can help them to account for the production of manifestations; to justify their reliance on dispositional directedness; to show the causal relevance of dispositions; and to motivate their view that dispositions are not reducible to categorical bases. I argue, moreover, that Thomistic inclination to an end does not succumb to the most common objections to finality: it is not mentalistic or vitalistic, and it does not involve backwards causation. Place, Molnar, and Martin, therefore, can embrace the directedness associated with Thomistic inclination—and reap its benefits—without incurring any high metaphysical cost.
[Citing Place (1996g)]  [Citing Place (1999b)]  

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)]  

Marmodoro, A. (2022). What’s Dynamic About Causal Powers? A Black Box!. In C. J. Austin, A. Marmodoro, A. Roselli (Eds): Powers, Time and Free Will (Chapter 1). Synthese Library, vol 451. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-92486-7_1
[Abstract]Modern science cannot do without Aristotelian powers – thus have argued Cartwright and Pemberton (2013) among many others. Aristotelian powers are essentially dynamic entities, which account for causal phenomena, and thus explain how change comes about in the world. In this chapter I argue that explaining causation in terms of interacting causal powers places causation … beyond the reach of our understanding(!) – because causal interaction shows us what powers do, and not what powers are. Metaphysicians by and large agree that the intrinsic nature of powers is to be dynamic entities. I contend here that their dynamism is irreducible, and crucially, unknowable, rendering what powers are ‘black boxes’ to us, despite multiple attempts of defining them in the literature. The sciences discover only how powers behave, and classify them teleologically to tell us what they do. Powers, however, are mysterious and unexplorable black boxes to us, even though they are indispensable in our scientific explanations of change in the world.
[Citing Place (1996g) in context]  [Citing Place (1999b) in context]  

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)]