Probability and necessity in the physical sciences

  • Handfield, Toby (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Barker, Stephen (Partner Investigator (PI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

This project investigates the nature of dispositional concepts, particularly as they are used in scientific enquiry. Earlier theories have given unsatisfactory accounts of how dispositions are causally effective and consequently fail to explain why disposition-explanations can be both useful and true. We propose to address this and related puzzles by combining two novel approaches to the study of dispositions. Our first approach is metaphysical, suggesting that some dispositions may possess a sort of causal structure which explains the causal efficacy of dispositions. The second approach employs semantic techniques to explain the counterfactual and probabilistic aspects of dispositions.
Effective start/end date1/01/0631/12/09


  • Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • Australian Research Council (ARC): AUD223,020.00
  • Monash University: AUD4,175.00