Original Article


, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 869-880

First online:

Using Natural-Kind Essentialism to Defend Dispositionalism

  • Travis DumsdayAffiliated withPhilosophy & Religious Studies, Livingstone College Email author 

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Marc Lange and Ann Whittle have independently developed an important challenge to dispositionalism, arguing that dispositions are reducible to primitive subjunctive facts. I argue in reply that by pairing dispositionalism with a certain version of natural-kind essentialism, their objection can be overcome. Moreover, such a marriage carries further advantages for the dispositionalist. My aim is therefore two-fold: to defend dispositionalism, and to give the dispositionalist some new motivation to adopt natural-kind essentialism.