, Volume 170, Issue 1, pp 7–19

The ungrounded argument is unfounded: a response to Mumford


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-008-9344-4

Cite this article as:
Williams, N.E. Synthese (2009) 170: 7. doi:10.1007/s11229-008-9344-4


Arguing against the claim that every dispositional property is grounded in some property other than itself, Stephen Mumford presents what he calls the ‘Ungrounded Argument’. If successful, the Ungrounded Argument would represent a major victory for anti-Humean metaphysics over its Humean rivals, as it would allow for the existence of primitive modality. Unfortunately, Humeans need not yet be worried, as the Ungrounded Argument is itself lacking in grounding. I indicate where Mumford’s argument falls down, claiming that even the dispositions of the simplest particles can have categorical bases.


Dispositions Powers Property Categorical Humean supervenience Reduction Subatomic particle 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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