Master of Arts
Date of Defense
There is an intuitive difference between a qualitative and a dispositional predicate. Qualitative predicates seemingly refer to inherent features of an object, while dispositional predicates point outward to possible interactions. Attempts to further spell this distinction have proven difficult, however. Past approaches have either started from metaphysical assumptions or compared paradigmatic cases of each side-by-side. In this paper I offer a new approach to solving this puzzle. Starting with a qualitative or dispositional predicate of a property, we can examine how that differs from a predicate of the other kind that applies, in virtue of that property, to the same object. Doing so offers a new way to positively characterize qualities and dispositions. On my account, qualitative predicates capture a property in isolation from other properties at a fixed moment in time, while dispositional predicates capture a property in relation to other properties through an activity or process over time.
Reed, Seth, "How to Distinguish Qualities and Dispositions" (2019). Theses. 350.