more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 5489

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 1. Acting on Desires]

Full Idea

It seems that human beings not only have variable dispositional properties, as most complex systems have, but also meta-powers: powers to change their own dispositional properties.


'Meta-powers' are powers over other powers

Gist of Idea

Humans have variable dispositions, and also power to change their dispositions


Brian Ellis (The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism [2002], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism' [Acumen 2002], p.143

A Reaction

This seems to me a key to how we act, and also to morality. 'What dispositions do you want to have?' is the central question of virtue theory. Humans are essentially multi-level thinkers. Irony is the window into the soul.