Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CFP: Special Issue of The Monist on Powers

The Monist


Deadline for Submissions: January 31, 2010
Advisory Editor: Neil Williams, University at Buffalo (new [at] buffalo.edu)

A sewing needle is swiped across a bar magnet, then pushed through a piece of cork and dropped into a glass of water. The needle will point immediately to the nearest pole. A female moth releases a small trace of sex pheromone; immediately males of the species up to two miles away will be attracted to her. The evidence for such causal powers is all around us. And as is shown in the response to the work of authors such as George Molnar and C. B. Martin, the thought that objects might be inherently powerful is on the rise. What is the nature of such causal powers? How are they to be characterised? What place do non-powers have within power-based ontologies? To what extent can powers be explanatory? Can powers exist entirely ungrounded? Contributions are invited addressing these and connected issues about the role and nature of powers.