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What makes a capacity a disposition?

Cartwright, Nancy (2007) What makes a capacity a disposition? In: Kistler, Max and Gnassounou, Bruno, (eds.) Dispositions and Causal Powers. Ashgate Dartmouth, London, UK, 195 - 206. ISBN 9780754654254

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Identification Number: 10.4324/9781315577616-12


One of the major attempts to avoid this problem is to claim that the subject matter of laws are ascriptions of dispositions, powers, capacities etc., and not the regular behaviour we find in nature. 'Causal capacities can be measured as surely or unsurely as anything else that science deals with. Sometimes we measure capacities in a physics laboratory'. Many philosophers of science think that many laws of nature are so called ceteris paribus laws. Take the following statements for examples: 'All laws are ceteris paribus laws. Although many think that there are ceteris paribus laws not only in the proviso ridden social sciences but even all the way down to fundamental physics the ceteris paribus clause in law statements is problematic. Real objects nearly never display the laws which are supposed to hold for them. If taken as statements about regularities laws are either all false or they are ceteris paribus laws because there are hardly ever regularities.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 The Editors
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2011 14:55
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:09

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