Travis DumsdayFeb 10, 2020
Dispositionalism and the Metaphysics of Science
Cambridge University Press 2019
Dispositionalism is the view that there are irreducible causal powers in nature that explain why objects behave as they do. To say salt is soluble in water, for example, is to say that salt has the disposition to dissolve in water, and this disposition is understood as a real causal power of salt. In Dispositionalism and the Metaphysics of Science (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Travis Dumsday articulates a novel version of dispositionalism – nomic dispositionalism – and considers its relation to a cross-section of fundamental debates and positions in the metaphysics of science, such as nature of scientific laws, the possibility of knowledge about unobservable entities, and whether there is any fundamental material stuff. Dumsday, who is associate professor of philosophy at Concordia University of Edmonton, provides a concise and easily accessible introduction to many of these core debates in the metaphysics of science as well as a defense of his intriguing new view of dispositionalism.