more from Nelson Goodman

Single Idea 14292

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions]

Full Idea

Dispositions of a thing are as important to us as overt behaviour, but they strike us by comparison as rather ethereal. So we are moved to enquire whether we can bring them down to earth, and explain disposition terms without reference to occult powers.

Gist of Idea

Dispositions seem more ethereal than behaviour; a non-occult account of them would be nice


Nelson Goodman (Fact, Fiction and Forecast (4th ed) [1954], II.3)

Book Reference

Goodman,Nelson: 'Fact, Fiction and Forecast (4th ed)' [Harvard 1983], p.40

A Reaction

Mumford quotes this at the start of his book on dispositions, as his agenda. I suspect that the 'occult' aspect crept in because dispositions were based on powers, and the dominant view was that these were the immediate work of God.