, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 93-107
Date: 16 Nov 2012

In Defence of Powerful Qualities

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Abstract

The ontology of ‘powerful qualities’ is gaining an increasing amount of attention in the literature on properties. This is the view that the so-called categorical or qualitative properties are identical with ‘dispositional’ properties. The position is associated with C.B. Martin, John Heil, Galen Strawson and Jonathan Jacobs. Robert Schroer (2012) has recently mounted a number of criticisms against the powerful qualities view as conceived by these main adherents, and has also advanced his own (radically different) version of the view. In this paper I have three main aims: firstly, I shall defend the ontology from his critique, arguing that his criticisms do not damage the position. Secondly, I shall argue that Schroer’s own version of the view is untenable. Thirdly, the paper shall serve to clear up some conceptual confusions that often bedevil the powerful qualities view.

As Schroer’s article has yet to appear in print, I have assigned it page numbers based upon those of the PDF available at the DOI stated in the index. This will be updated when Schroer’s article is printed.