This paper explores the debate between those philosophers who take (fundamental, perfectly natural) properties to be pure powers and those who take them to be powerful qualities. I first consider two challenges for the view that properties are powerful qualities, which I call, respectively, 'the clarification challenge' and 'the explanatory challenge'. I then examine a number of arguments that aim to show that properties cannot be pure powers and find them all wanting. Finally, I sketch what I take to be the most promising argument against pure powers and for powerful qualities.

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Department of Philosophy

Contessa, G. (2019). Powerful Qualities or Pure Powers?. Metaphysica. doi:10.1515/mp-2019-2003