Derivative Dispositions, and
Derivative dispositions arise when the accomplishment of a given disposition
requires the operation of successive steps of kinds different from the
overall step. The original disposition on its operation therefore generates
from itself the 'derived dispositions' for the intermediate steps, which
are means to the original end. An original 'disposition to learn', for
example, can generate the derived 'disposition to read books', which can
generate further 'dispositions to search for books'. These dispositions
would then generate dispositions to move one's body, which in turn lead
ultimately to one's limbs having (physical) dispositions to move. These
successively generated dispositions are all derived from the original
disposition to learn, according to the specific situations.
That such derivative dispositions can be formed means the original
disposition was not a simple disposition, but had considerable complexity
in its first appearance. However, the 'disposition to search for a book'
is not strictly a component of a 'disposition to learn', in the
sense of being always an actual part of that disposition, as it
is only derived in appropriate circumstances. For this reason we talk of
'derived' rather than 'component' dispositions, as the 'disposition to
learn' is not simply the mere aggregate of all the dispositions that can
be derived from it, just as any disposition or cause is not merely an aggregate
of all its possible effects. Rather, the original disposition is more like
a 'higher order' disposition to generate its derived dispositions according
to circumstances. Just as the effects of a disposition are not contained
within it, but are generated from it according to circumstances, so derived
dispositions are not contained within a higher-order disposition, but are
generated from it according to circumstances.
The detailed selection of derived dispositions may be quite complicated
in general, as it depends not only on the initial state prior to any of
the successive steps, but also on each individual kind of the original
Multiple Generative Levels
Description of ordinary quantum mechanics requires the idea of ‘multiple
- ‘Multiple generative levels’ are a sequence A » B » C
» .. in which A ‘generates’ or ‘produces’ new forms
of B using the present form of B as a precondition.
- Then B generates C in the same way,
- and so on until end when nothing is active.
Multiple Generative Levels II: Reality
In the general case, Multilevel Propensities are ‘parallel processes’
all equally real.
- Level B, for example, is not just an approximate description of
successive forms of other levels A or C.
- Neither is B a microscopic constituent of either of levels A or C.
- Rather, levels A, B, C,... are real processes ‘in parallel’ that interact
with other by relations of ‘generation’ and ‘pre-condition’.
Principles, Causes and Effects
The sequence ‘energy » propensity » actual event’, does not have the
three levels playing homogeneous roles as in the general case A » B » C
If we look in more detail, we see:
- energy = ‘principle’
- Conservation of energy via H governs the process
- propensity = ‘cause’
- Time evolution and propagation of influence
- actual event = ‘effect’
Pattern appears to be: Principle » Cause » Effect