The Mereology of Potentiality (Thursday - Week 6, TT19)

mereology of potentiality

I am going to deal with a relatively new debate in the philosophical literature: that of the connection between the different metaphysics of time and powers ontologies. While at first glance, in fact, it may seem that powers ontologies do not share much philosophical ground with the metaphysics of time, some authors (Friebe 2017, Backmann 2018, Donati 2018) have recently claimed that dispositional essentialism may have some troubles when combined with allegedly 'static' views, such as Eternalism; in Backmann 2018 we even find the thesis that the powers view is incompatible with every metaphysics of time. This is a serious charge for a metaphysical model, for, if it turns out that powers ontologies cannot be combined with one or more metaphysics of time, their appeal would be significantly reduced. I will briefly present (the standard version of) the four main metaphysics of time; I will then turn to present some objections moved to (specific versions of) powers ontologies and their metaphysics of time; in the last part of the talk, I will answer these objections and I will take the opportunity to unpack some important features of the specific version of powers ontology defended throughout the talk.

For more information: or e-mail

The Mereology of Potentiality Seminar Convenors: Anna Marmodoro and Andrea Roselli