Ford, Sharon R (2009) The Viability of a Pure-Power Ontology. In:  Metaphysics of Science (Melbourne, July 2-5, 2009).
In accounting for the objects and properties of the manifest world, issues include the fundamentality, causal efficacy and ontological robustness of the dispositional (powers, potentials, capacities) versus the non-dispositional (categorical, qualitative). Concerning fundamentality, the available options seem to be that: (i) dispositional and categorical properties are different kinds, both fundamental; (ii) dispositional and categorical properties are one and the same, and fundamental; (iii) only categorical properties are fundamental while dispositional properties, if they exist, are higher-order; and (iv) only dispositional properties are fundamental while categorical properties, if they exist, are higher-order. The viability of option (iv), a pure-power ontology, has met detracting arguments from several quarters. This paper outlines why the fourth option appears nonetheless attractive and provides a defence for its credibility by suggesting how the manifestly qualitative world can be explained without recourse to fundamental categorical properties.
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