more from Gilbert Ryle

Single Idea 14297

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / e. Dispositions as potential]

Full Idea

To possess a dispositional property is not to be in a particular state; is to be bound or liable to be in a particular state, or undergo a particular change, when a particular condition is realized.

Gist of Idea

A dispositional property is not a state, but a liability to be in some state, given a condition


Gilbert Ryle (The Concept of Mind [1949], II (7))

Book Reference

Ryle,Gilbert: 'The Concept of Mind' [Penguin 1949], p.43

A Reaction

Whether this view is correct is the central question about dispositions. Ryle's view is tied in with Humean regularities and behaviourism about mind. The powers view, which I favour, says a disposition is a drawn bow, an actual state of power.