Dispositions, Causation and Modality

Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Hüttemann (Cologne)

Postdoctoral Fellow:
Dr. Kristina Engelhard (Cologne)

The project analyses the modal aspects of dispositions and aims at a comprehensive dispositional metaphysics of science concerning laws of nature and causation. A central modal aspect of dispositions is that their manifestations are conditionally necessary. One part of the project is concerned with a theory of modality that is maximal compatible with a dispositional account, e.g. that gives an account of conditional metaphysical necessity. One part of the project rejects dispositional primitivism or dispositional reductionism about modality as held by dispositional theories of modality by Borgini/Williams and Vetter. These authors takes dispositions, powers, or potentials respectively, as ontologically fundamental or takes them to be equipped with primitive modality. It will be explored whether modality is a non-fundamental feature of nature and more particularly whether it can be reduced to sets of properties. The target theory is an actualist combinatorialism about sets of properties.