ABSTRACT. McKitrick (2003) proposes that an object has a disposition if and only if there are a manifestation, the circumstances of the manifestation, a counterfactual true of the object, and an overtly dispositional locution referring to the disposition. A disposition is extrinsic if and only if an object has it, but a perfect duplicate of the object might not have it. I present an alternative definition that an object has a disposition if and only if a counterfactual is true of the object that, under a certain condition, it would interact with another object in a certain manner. There are three reasons for thinking that my definition is better than her definition. 1. Ockham’s razor favors my definition over McKitrick’s definition. 2. My definition is consistent, while her definition is not, with Lewis’s and her definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic properties. 3. My definition goes well, while her definition does not, with our intuition that an object has a disposition even in a possible world where there is nothing but that object.

Keywords: counterfactual interaction; extrinsic disposition; fragility; intrinsic disposition; toxicity

How to cite: Park, Seungbae (2017). “Against Extrinsic Dispositions,” Review of Contemporary Philosophy 16: 92–103.

Received 19 January 2016 • Received in revised form 27 May 2017
Accepted 27 May 2017 • Available online 20 June 2017


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Division of General Studies,
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology,
Ulsan, Republic of Korea

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