Tendencies, determinism, and sporting prowess – a response to Mumford and Anjum

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Abstract:

Abstract: In Getting Causes from Powers (2011) Stephen Mumford and Rani Anjum published a novel approach to the metaphysics of dispositional properties, according to which causal powers are to be viewed as vectors. More recently they have employed a similar system to represent prowess in sport. In this paper l discuss the Mumford/Anjum ‘tendential theory of sporting prowess’. I question their motivation for the tendencies account, concluding (contra Mumford and Anjum) that a belief in determinism would not take away from the enjoyment of spectator sports. Nonetheless, I deem the tendential theory of prowess plausible. In addition to criticising their motivation, then, I develop the Mumford/Anjum thesis, applying the multi‐dimensional aspect they themselves apply to ‘complex causal situations’, to the metaphysic of sporting prowess.