According to power theorists, properties are powers - i.e., they necessarily confer on their bearers certain dispositions. Although the power theory is increasingly gaining popularity, a vast majority of analytic metaphysicians still favour what I call 'the nomic theory' - i.e., the view according to which what dispositions a property confers on its bearers is contingent on what the laws of nature happen to be. This paper argues that the nomic theory is inconsistent, for, if it were correct, then properties would not confer any dispositions on their bearers - they would only appear to do so (just like how, in cases of mimicking, objects do not really have the relevant dispositions, they merely appear to have them). If my arguments are sound, then the nomic theory is incoherent and ultimately collapses into what I call 'neo-occasionalism' and powers turns out to be the only available option for those who believe that properties genuinely confer dispositions on their bearers or accept even a minimal realism about dispositions.

Additional Metadata
Keywords dispositions, laws of nature, powers, properties
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqu076
Journal Philosophical Quarterly
Citation
Contessa, G. (2015). Only powers can confer dispositions. Philosophical Quarterly, 65(259), 160–176. doi:10.1093/pq/pqu076