Clear criteria for the identity of dispositions are still lacking, and this has been presented as one of the main challenge raised by such entities. It is of prime importance to identify or distinguish dispositions such as diseases or risks. This article first introduces conventional ways to refer to a disposition (such as “fragility”) and canonical ways (such as “disposition to break in case of a strong shock”). This raises the issue of how should exactly be defined a “disposition d to R when TR”, where R is a realization specification and TR a trigger specification. Two ontological frameworks are distinguished. The first framework, which has been largely used so far in the literature on dispositions, interprets d as a disposition which can only be triggered by instances of TR, and can only be realized by instances of R. The second, new framework introduces the notion of “minimal trigger” and “maximal realization”, and interprets TR as a parent class of a class of processes that have as part a minimal trigger, and R as a parent class of a class of processes that are parts of a maximal realization. We then discuss several criteria of identity, including the criterion according to which two dispositions are identical iff they have the same categorical basis, the same class of minimal triggers and the same class of maximal realizations. We show on several examples that the second framework avoids the disposition multiplicativism that is introduced by the first framework.
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