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Journal Articles Philosophical Papers Year : 2015

No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?

Baptiste Le Bihan


A 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
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hal-01202010 , version 1 (25-01-2016)



Baptiste Le Bihan. No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?. Philosophical Papers, 2015, 44 (2), pp.207--232. ⟨10.1080/05568641.2015.1056960⟩. ⟨hal-01202010⟩
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