, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 93–107

In Defence of Powerful Qualities


DOI: 10.1007/s12133-012-0114-x

Cite this article as:
Taylor, J.H. Int Ontology Metaphysics (2013) 14: 93. doi:10.1007/s12133-012-0114-x


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.


Powerful qualitiesCategorical propertiesDispositional propertiesPartial considerationPhenomenal consciousness

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of DurhamDurhamUK