Dispositions and the Principle of Least Action Revisited

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Smart, Benjamin T H; Thebault, Karim P Y
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Some time ago, Joel Katzav (2004; 2005) and Brian Ellis (2005) debated the compatibility of dispositional essentialism with the principle of least action. Surprisingly, very little has been said on the matter since, even by the most naturalistically inclined metaphysicians. Here we revisit the Katzav-Ellis arguments of 2004-2005. We outline the two problems for the dispositionalist identified by Katzav in his 2004 (we call these the ‘contingent action-quantities’ and ‘explanatory’ objections), and claim they are not as problematic for the dispositional essentialist at it first seems – but not for the reasons espoused by Ellis.