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Categoricalism, dispositionalism, and the epistemology of properties.

Tugby, Matthew (2014) 'Categoricalism, dispositionalism, and the epistemology of properties.', Synthese., 191 (6). pp. 1147-1162.


Notoriously, the dispositional view of natural properties is thought to face a number of regress problems, one of which points to an epistemological worry. In this paper, I argue that the rival categorical view is also susceptible to the same kind of regress problem. This problem can be overcome, most plausibly, with the development of a structuralist epistemology. After identifying problems faced by alternative solutions, I sketch the main features of this structuralist epistemological approach, referring to graph-theoretic modelling in the process. Given that both the categoricalists and dispositionalists are under pressure to adopt this same epistemological approach in light of the regress problem, this suggests that the categoricalist versus dispositionalist debate is best fought on metaphysical rather than epistemological grounds.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:The final publication is available at Springer via
Date accepted:12 July 2013
Date deposited:01 September 2015
Date of first online publication:26 July 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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