The role of dispositions in explanations

Citation data:

THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 2171-679X, Vol: 19, Issue: 3, Page: 301-310

Publication Year:
2004
Usage 104
Downloads 104
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10495
DOI:
10.1387/theoria.583
Author(s):
Vicente, Agustín
Publisher(s):
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
article description
According to a model defended by some authors, dispositional predicates, or concepts, can be legitimately used in causal explanations, but such a use is not necessary. For every explanation couched in dispositional terms, there is always a better, and complete, explanation that makes use of a different vocabulary, that of categorial bases. In what follows, I will develop this view, and then argue that there is a kind of use of dispositions in explanations that does not fall within this model. That is, I will argue that we would miss some explanations if we were to forsake dispositional concepts and dispositional explanations.