more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 13599

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

Full Idea

The causal powers of an object are the dispositional properties of that object that are the real essences of the natural kinds of processes that involve that object in the role of cause.

Gist of Idea

Powers are dispositions of the essences of kinds that involve them in causation


Brian Ellis (Scientific Essentialism [2001], 3.11)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'Scientific Essentialism' [CUP 2007], p.135

A Reaction

This is Ellis's formal definition at the end of his discussion of causal powers. He only seems to allow powers to the kind rather than to the individual. How do we account for the causal powers of unique genius? I say the powers are the essences.