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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Dr Matthew Tugby

Tugby, Matthew (2017). Power Worlds and the Problem of Individuation. American Philosophical Quarterly 54(3): 269-281.

Author(s) from Durham


Is it metaphysically possible for a world to contain power properties but no nonpower properties? Recently, much progress has been made by powers theorists to defend the coherence of such a possibility. But unfortunately, it remains unclear how the powers in a power world are individuated. The problem is that the most obvious principle of individuation for properties in a power world is one that is circular. In this paper, it is argued that this circularity is generated by a modal assumption, which is that different families of powers exist in different possible worlds. By rejecting this assumption, a noncircular principle of individuation for power properties can be formulated. Moreover, this solution is not ad hoc because there are independent reasons for rejecting the aforementioned modal assumption.