Volume 88, 2014
Dispositions, Habits, and Virtues
Daniel O. Dahlstrom
The Status of Dispositions
This paper addresses puzzling issues concerning the ontological status of dispositions. Following review of debates about a traditional conditional analysis as well as Lewis’s “reformed conditional analysis” of dispositions, the paper analyzes attempts to solve the problem of what makes the relevant conditional true. Reasons are presented for rejecting attempts to locate the relevant truth-maker in a causal basis that allegedly dispenses with dispositions or in properties that are universally dispositional. In this way the paper argues that neither “eliminativism” nor “pandispositionalism” provides a successful account of dispositions’ ontological status, and that ontology must find a way to countenance the reality of both dispositional and non-dispositional properties.