Linking Disposition Ascriptions and Conditionals: A Wittgensteinian Approach

Kai-Yuan Cheng


The main purpose of this paper is to invoke some of the images about language used in
Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigation to illuminate the
meaning of disposition ascriptions such as “This glass is fragile”. Philosophers have
commonly agreed that a disposition ascription is linked in some way to a conditional
of some sort, for example, “If this glass were struck, it would break”. However,
exactly how to explicate the link in question remains unclear and controversial. I
propose that we take a Wittgensteinian approach to tackle this issue. By doing so, we
may obtain a fresh and broader perspective to look at what a disposition ascription
means and how it relates to other terms such as counterfactual conditionals and
ceteris paribus.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; disposition; conditional; language game; ceteris paribus; fink; mask

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