more from Stephen Mumford

Single Idea 14345

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity]

Full Idea

The logical necessity of physical laws is not required by dispositional essentialism. An electron would not be an electron if its behaviour were different from the behaviour it has in the actual world, but this necessity is purely conceptual.

Gist of Idea

The necessity of an electron being an electron is conceptual, and won't ground necessary laws


Stephen Mumford (Dispositions [1998], 10.8)

Book Reference

Mumford,Stephen: 'Dispositions' [OUP 1998], p.237

A Reaction

[He is particularly aiming this at Ellis and Lierse 1994] This may be missing the point. Given those electron dispositions, the electrons necessitate law-like happenings. Whether a variable entity is called an 'electron' is trivial.