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Ideas of Richard Corry, by Text

[Australian, fl. 2010, At the University of Tasmania.]

2010 Dispositional Essentialism Grounds Laws of Nature?
1 p.2 Dispositional essentialism says fundamental laws of nature are strict, not ceteris paribus
     Full Idea: Dispositional essentialism implies that the fundamental laws of nature must be strict, not ceteris paribus.
     From: Richard Corry (Dispositional Essentialism Grounds Laws of Nature? [2010], 1)
     A reaction: I am not keen on the 'laws' of nature, but since essentialism seems to make them necessary, you can't get stricter than that.
2 p.3 An 'antidote' allows a manifestation to begin, but then blocks it
     Full Idea: An 'antidote' (or 'mask') to a disposition (unlike a 'finkish' one) leaves the disposition intact, but interferes with the causal chain between the disposition and its manifestation so that the manifestation doesn't come about.
     From: Richard Corry (Dispositional Essentialism Grounds Laws of Nature? [2010], 2)
     A reaction: [He cites Bird 1997] Thus the disposition of the poison at least begins to manifest, but its disposition to kill is blocked. So what was the disposition of the poison?
2 p.3 A 'finkish' disposition is one that is lost immediately after the appropriate stimulus
     Full Idea: An object's disposition is said to be 'finkish' if the object loses the disposition after the occurrence of the appropriate stimulus, but before the manifestation has had time to come about.
     From: Richard Corry (Dispositional Essentialism Grounds Laws of Nature? [2010], 2)
     A reaction: [He cites Lewis 1997] An example would be some sort of safety device which only cuts in if the disposition seems about to operate (e.g. turns off electricity). It seems to block analyses of dispositions simply in terms of their outcomes.
3 p.6 If a disposition is never instantiated, it shouldn't be part of our theory of nature
     Full Idea: If we have no good reason to believe that a disposition is instantiated, then the disposition should play no role in our theorizing about the world.
     From: Richard Corry (Dispositional Essentialism Grounds Laws of Nature? [2010], 3)
     A reaction: It is part of our theory that a substantial lump of uranium will explode, but also that a galaxy-sized lump of uranium would explode. Surely we are committed to the latter, even though it never happens?
5 p.8 Maybe an experiment unmasks an essential disposition, and reveals its regularities
     Full Idea: The dispositional essentialist can argue that what happens in laboratory conditions is that, by controlling external influences, we effectively 'unmask' the relevant dispositions, and thus observe the regularities to which those dispositions give rise.
     From: Richard Corry (Dispositional Essentialism Grounds Laws of Nature? [2010], 5)
     A reaction: That seems to me to be exactly right, though Corry dislikes it, and even suggests that dispositional essentialist might not like it.