"Discovering the Essences of Natural Kinds"

The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (eds Helen Beebee and Nigel Sabbarton-Leary) (Routledge, forthcoming 2010)

Abstract

I examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of a dispositional account of causation, the simplest version of which says that A causes B when A is the stimulus of some disposition and B is the corresponding manifestation. The latter approximates to a subjunctive sufficiency account. Some of the problems for the latter suggest that we must regard, for basic dispositions at least, the process of manifestation as primitive.