1. Aims and Purposes:

The objective of this workshop is to help advance our understanding of dispositions by addressing semantic and metaphysical issues concerning them. We often talk of dispositions in everyday life. We talk, for instance, that the glass is disposed to break when dropped, that the paper is disposed to burn when put in fire, that the salt is disposed to dissolve when put in water, and so on. All these talks describe powers or potentialities that are in certain things but may not be actually manifested. In this sense, dispositions are powers, potentials, or tendencies to do something. We use various linguistic expressions to describe dispositions. Expressions such as ¡°water-soluble¡±, ¡°flammable¡±, ¡°courageous¡±, ¡°honest¡±, ¡°electrically charged¡±, and ¡°magnetized¡± are all used to refer to dispositions. This workshop aims at discussing semantic issues involving such expressions and, on the basis of it, proposing a convincing theory on the metaphysics of powers.


2. People to whom it may be of interest:

Philosophers, scientists interested in philosophy, linguists interested in semantics, humanists interested in metaphysics, etc.


3. Reading List

The following reading list is for the benefit of the potential audience of the workshop who are not familiar with the philosophical discussions about dispositions.

Martin, C. (1994), ¡®Dispositions and Conditionals', The Philosophical Quarterly, 44: 1-8.

Martin famously presents ¡®electro-fink' counterexamples to the simple conditional analysis of dispositions and voices deep scepticism about the prospect of any conditional analysis of dispositions.

Lewis, D. (1997), ¡®Finkish Dispositions', The Philosophical Quarterly, 47: 143-158.

Lewis agrees with Martin that his examples indeed bring the simple conditional analysis of dispositions to an end; yet, unlike Martin, Lewis attempts to propose an alternative conditional analysis of dispositions.

Bird, Alexander (1998), ¡®Dispositions and Antidotes', The Philosophical Quarterly, 48: 227-234.

Bird puts forward counterexamples to Lewis's analysis of dispositions.

Choi, S. (2005), ¡®Do Categorical Ascriptions Entail Counterfactual Conditionals', The Philosophical Quarterly 55: 495-503

Choi first discusses the possibility of finking dispositional or categorical properties intrinsically. His view is severely criticised by Randolph Clarke's ¡®Intrinsic Finks'

Choi, S. (manuscript), ¡®Opposing Opposing Powers'

This is a criticism of Clarke's ¡®Opposing Powers'


4. Time:

2-5 September, 2009


5. Location

2 Sept.: Seminar Room, 3rd Floor, Bldg # 7, Seoul Nat'l Univ. Gwanak Campus (sketch map)

3 Sept. - 5 Sept.: Seminar Room, 2nd floor, The Main Library, Kyung Hee University (sketch map)


6. Speakers:


Sungho Choi ( Kyung Hee University )
- main interests: philosophy of science, metaphysics.



Alexander Bird ( Bristol University )
- main interests: philosophy of science, metaphysics.



Randolph Clarke ( Florida State University )
- main interests: metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics.



Josh Dever ( University of Texas at Austin )
- main interests: philosophy of language, philosophical logic.



7. Workshop webpage



8. Schedule (subject to change)


Wednesday, 2 September, 2009 ( Seoul Nat'l Univ)

1.00 pm - 3.30 pm Alexander Bird: The Semantics of Disposition Talk: A Survey
3.30 pm - 4.00 pm Coffee break
4.00 pm - 6.30 pm Josh Dever: The Conditional Fallacy (Slides)


Thursday, 3 September, 2009 (Kyung Hee Univ)

1.00 pm - 3.30 pm Sungho Choi: What is a Dispositional Masker?: A Critique of Manley and Wasserman
3.30 pm - 4.00 pm Coffee break
4.00 pm - 6.30 pm Josh Dever: Dispositions and Error-Tolerant Conditionals (will draw on materials from ¡°The Counterexample Fallacy¡± and ¡°A Buyer's Guide to Conditionals" (especially section 4.1))


Friday, 4 September, 2009 (Kyung Hee Univ)

9.30 am -12.00 am Randolph Clarke: Intrinsic Finks
12.00 pm - 1.00 pm Lunch
1.00 pm - 3.30 pm Sungho Choi: Intrinsic Finks and Dispositional/Categorical Distinction


Saturday, 5 September, 2009 (Kyung Hee Univ)

1.00 pm - 3.30 pm Randolph Clarke: Opposing Powers
3.30 pm - 4.00 pm Coffee break
4.00 pm - 6.30 pm Alexander Bird: Can Dispositions Have Intrinsic Finks and Antidote?