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No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?

ContributorsLe Bihan, Baptisteorcid
Published inPhilosophical Papers, vol. 44, no. 2, p. 207-232
Publication date2015
Abstract

The dispositional monist believes that all properties are essentially causal. Recently, an overdetermination argument has been proposed by Trenton Merricks to support nihilism about ordinary objects. I argue that this argument can be extended to target both nihilism about ordinary objects and nihilism about physical particles when dispositional monism is assumed. It implies that a philosopher who both endorses dispositional monism and takes seriously the overdetermination argument should not believe in the existence of physical particles. I end up by discussing possible objections. I suggest, then, that if we live in a world that is inhabited by causal properties but not by chairs and tables, then we also live in a world without electrons and quarks, a world of dispositional properties, that is, a world of causal fields.

Keywords
  • Dispositions
  • Physical particles
  • Nihilism
  • Eliminativism
  • Overdetermination
Citation (ISO format)
LE BIHAN, Baptiste. No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist? In: Philosophical Papers, 2015, vol. 44, n° 2, p. 207–232. doi: 10.1080/05568641.2015.1056960
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ISSN of the journal0556-8641
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