, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 63–77 | Cite as

Can a Single Property Be Both Dispositional and Categorical? The “Partial Consideration Strategy”, Partially Considered

  • Robert SchroerEmail author


One controversial position in the debate over dispositional and categorical properties maintains that our concepts of these properties are the result of partially considering unitary properties that are both dispositional and categorical. As one of its defenders (Heil 2005, p. 351) admits, this position is typically met with “incredulous stares”. In this paper, I examine whether such a reaction is warranted. This thesis about properties is an instance of what I call “the Partial Consideration Strategy”—i.e., the strategy of claiming that what were formerly thought of as distinct entities are actually a unified entity, partially considered. By evaluating its use in other debates, I uncover a multi-layered prima facie case against the use of the Partial Consideration Strategy in the dispositional/categorical properties debate. In closing, I describe how the Partial Consideration Strategy can be reworked in a way that would allow it to sidestep this prima facie case.


Dispositional properties Categorical properties Partial consideration The substratum Phenomenal properties 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Minnesota-DuluthDuluthUSA

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