According to the naive counterfactual analysis of dispositions (NCA), o is disposed to M when S if and only if, if it were the case that S, o would M. Unfortunately, NCA is too nice and simple to be true and counterexamples to both sides of the biconditional abound. These include (on the "if" side) finks (the device that would turn a dead wire into a live one if it were to be touched by a conductor) and masks (the carefully wrapped but nonetheless fragile Ming vase) and (on the "only if" side) mimicks (the golden chalice hated by a wizard who would destroy it, if something where to touch it).
As a result of these counterexamples, some have abandoned NCA in favour of some different analysis, others have tried to fix it. Both projects, however, have proved to be quite tricky. Nevertheless, I still hope NCA can be fixed (it's too nice to give it up). The idea I'm exploring right now is that there is a common theme to all counterexamples to NCA. In all of them something is interfering with o's disposition to M when S. So, to avoid the counterexamples NCA should be fixed by adding 'unless something interferes with o's disposition to M when S'. Now, of course, this cannot be the whole story unless we are also able to give an analysis of 'something interferes with o's disposition to M when S' without mentioning 'o's disposition to M when S' otherwise our analysis would simply be circular (and this is far from being an easy task but I'll leave my suggestion for doing so for future post).
Now, the problem is that, as far as I can see, this general strategy seems to be quite obvious and yet, to my knowledge, no one has tried to pursue it so far. So, am I missing something? Have there been any attempts to pursue this general strategy I don't know of? And, if not, is this due to the fact that there is something clearly wrong with it (or is just due to the difficulty of analyzing the concept of interference in non-dispositional terms)? (One thing that could seem to be wrong is that in the case of mimicks there would seem to be no disposition to interfere with (and that is exactly the problem). However, I think this problem can be dealt with by claiming that there is, in fact, a disposition that is being interefered with--i.e. the chalyce's sturdiness. And that if nothing was interfering with that disposition the chalice would not appear to be fragile.)