© 2020


Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science

  • Anne Sophie Meincke

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 417)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. John Heil
    Pages 13-26
  3. Anna Marmodoro
    Pages 55-66
  4. Neil E. Williams
    Pages 67-87
  5. Anne Sophie Meincke
    Pages 89-113
  6. Rani Lill Anjum, Stephen Mumford
    Pages 115-130
  7. Elina Pechlivanidi, Stathis Psillos
    Pages 131-149
  8. Max Kistler
    Pages 171-188
  9. Matthew Tugby
    Pages 213-238
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 239-248

About this book


According to dispositional realism, or dispositionalism, the entities inhabiting our world possess irreducibly dispositional properties – often called ‘powers’ – by means of which they are sources of change. Dispositionalism has become increasingly popular among metaphysicians in the last three decades as it offers a realist account of causation and provides novel avenues for understanding modality, laws of nature, agency, free will and other key concepts in metaphysics. At the same time, it is receiving growing interest among philosophers of science. This reflects the substantial role scientific findings play in arguments for dispositionalism which, as a metaphysics of science, aims to unveil the very foundations of science.

The present collection of essays brings together both strands of interest. It elucidates the ontological profile of dispositionalism by exploring its ontological commitments, and it discusses these from the perspective of the philosophy of science. The essays are written by both proponents of dispositionalism and sceptics so as to initiate an open-minded, constructive dialogue.


Carnap and the Anglo-Austrian Conspiracy against Dispositions Causation, Powers and Probability Dispositionalism Dispositions and powers Dispositions Need Substances Humeanism Ontological categories for dispositionalism Ontology of Mental Dispositions Ontology of Powers Persistence and dispositionalism Powers as Instrumental Causes Powers are not Vectors Powers in the context of modern physics Substance ontology

Editors and affiliations

  • Anne Sophie Meincke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna, Vienna, AustriaCentre for the Study of Life Sciences (Egenis), University of ExeterExeterUK

About the editors

Anne Sophie Meincke is a Senior Research Fellow at the Philosophy Department of the University of Vienna, Austria, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. Meincke’s research lies at the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of biology, with a special focus on elaborating a new process ontological perspective. She is currently PI of the ‘Elise Richter’ research project Bio-Agency and Natural Freedom, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (2019-2023). Previously, Meincke was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, and a Research Fellow at the Universities of Exeter, United Kingdom, and Innsbruck, Austria.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Dispositionalism
  • Book Subtitle Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science
  • Editors Anne Sophie Meincke
  • Series Title Synthese Library
  • Series Abbreviated Title Synthese Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-28721-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-28724-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-28722-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 248
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Metaphysics
    Philosophy of Science
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