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  1. The Metaphysical Significance of the Ugly-Duckling Theorem.Ben Blumson - manuscript
    According to Satosi Watanabe's "theorem of the ugly duckling", the number of predicates satisfied by any two different particulars is a constant, which does not depend on the choice of the two particulars. If the number of predicates satisfied by two particulars is their number of properties in common, and the degree of resemblance between two particulars is a function of their number of properties in common, then it follows that the degree of resemblance between any two different particulars is (...)
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  2. Classicism.Andrew Bacon & Cian Dorr - forthcoming - In Peter Fritz & Nicholas K. Jones (eds.), Higher-order Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
  3. Disentangling Dispositions From Powers.Andrei A. Buckareff - forthcoming - Dialogue:1-15.
    Many powers-realists assume that the powers of objects are identical with the dispositions of objects and, hence, that ‘power’ and ‘disposition’ are interchangeable. In this article, I aim to disentangle dispositions from powers with the goal of getting a better sense of how powers and dispositions relate to one another. I present and defend a modest realism about dispositions built upon a standard strong realism about powers. I argue that each correct disposition-ascription we can make of an object is made (...)
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  4. Tropes, Unmanifested Dispositions and Powerful Qualities.Ashley Coates - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    According to a well-known argument, originally due to David Armstrong, powers theory is objectionable, as it leads to a ‘Meinongian’ ontology on which some entities are real but do not actually exist. I argue here that the right conclusion to draw from this argument has thus far not been identified and that doing so has significant implications for powers theory. Specifically, I argue that the key consequence of the argument is that it provides substantial grounds for trope powers theorists, but (...)
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  5. Challenging the Identity Theory of Properties.Vassilis Livanios - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (1-2):5079-5105.
    The Identity Theory of properties is an increasingly popular metaphysical view that aims to be a middle way between pure powerism and pure categoricalism. This paper’s goal is to highlight three major difficulties that IDT should address in order to be a plausible account of the nature of properties. First, although IDT needs a clear definition of the notion of qualitativity which is both adequate and compatible with the tenets of the theory, all the extant proposals fail to provide such (...)
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  6. A Brighter Shade of Categoricalism.Michele Paolini Paoletti - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-30.
    Categoricalism is a doctrine about properties according to which the dispositional aspects of properties are not essential to them. In opposition to categoricalism, dispositionalism holds that the dispositional aspects of properties are essential to them. In this article, I shall construct a new version of categoricalism that should be favoured over the other existing versions: Semi-Necessitarian Categoricalism. In Section 2 I shall elaborate on the distinction between categoricalism and dispositionalism and single out different ‘shades’ of both doctrines. I shall also (...)
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  7. Bill, Bowl, and Ball. A Tale of Disjunctive Properties.Michele Paolini Paoletti - forthcoming - Studium Philosophicum.
    The existence of disjunctive properties has been put in question by many philosophers. In this article, I shall offer an argument for the existence of such properties. I shall show that they are required in order to ground certain objective and unique resemblances between things. In Section 1, I develop the argument by presenting a toy example involving three entities: a red fish (Bill), a glass and round fish bowl (Bowl), and a red ball (Ball). In Section 2, I deal (...)
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  8. Essence and Dependence.Jessica Wilson M. - forthcoming - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality: Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press.
    I first discuss Kit Fine's distinctive 'schema-based' approach to metaphysical theorizing, which aims to identify general principles accommodating any intelligible application of the notion(s), by attention to his accounts of essence and dependence. I then raise some specific concerns about the general principles Fine takes to schematically characterize these notions. In particular, I present various counterexamples to Fine's essence-based account of ontological dependence. The problem, roughly speaking, is that Fine supposes that an object's essence makes reference to just what it (...)
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  9. Powers, Probabilities, and Tendencies.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2022 - Philosophia:1-33.
    In this article, I aim at showing how powers may ground different types of probability in the universe. In Section 1 I single out several dimensions along which the probability of something can be determined. Each of such dimensions can be further specified at the type-level or at the token-level. In Section 2 I introduce some metaphysical assumptions about powers. In Section 3 I show how powers can ground single-case probabilities and frequency-probabilities in a deterministic setting. Later on, in Section (...)
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  10. Slot Theory and Slotite Theory.Nikk Effingham - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):17-35.
    ‘Instantiation-directed slot theorists’ believe that properties/relations have slots which are filled by their instances/relata e.g., where Abigail is taller than Bronia, there are two slots in the relation Taller Than such that Abigail fills the first slot and Bronia fills the second. This crude statement of the theory runs into ‘The Problem of Filling’, whereby a natural understanding of the relation between slots, filling, and instantiation leads to absurd results. This paper examines a variety of solutions to that problem, one (...)
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  11. The Question of Algorithmic Personhood and Being (Or: On the Tenuous Nature of Human Status and Humanity Tests in Virtual Spaces—Why All Souls Are ‘Necessarily’ Equal When Considered as Energy).Tyler Jaynes - 2021 - MDPI: J 3 (4):452-475.
    What separates the unique nature of human consciousness and that of an entity that can only perceive the world via strict logic-based structures? Rather than assume that there is some potential way in which logic-only existence is non-feasible, our species would be better served by assuming that such sentient existence is feasible. Under this assumption, artificial intelligence systems (AIS), which are creations that run solely upon logic to process data, even with self-learning architectures, should therefore not face the opposition they (...)
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  12. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Modes.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (2):223-249.
    I offer in this article an account of the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties based on the ontology of modes. Modes are particular properties that directly depend for their identity on their "bearers". In Section 1, I shall introduce the ontology of modes. In Section 2, I shall examine the problem of distinguishing between intrinsic and extrinsic properties by considering another, related problem: that of distinguishing between internal and external relations. In Section 3, I shall present my own account (...)
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  13. Heat in Renaissance Philosophy.Filip Buyse - 2020 - In Marco Sgarbi (ed.), Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy. Berlin: Springer.
    The term ‘heat’ originates from the Old English word hǣtu, a word of Germanic origin; related to the Dutch ‘hitte’ and German ‘Hitze’. Today, we distinguish three different meanings of the word ‘heat’. First, ‘heat’ is understood in colloquial English as ‘hotness’. There are, in addition, two scientific meanings of ‘heat’. ‘Heat’ can have the meaning of the portion of energy that changes with a change of temperature. And finally, ‘heat’ can have the meaning of the transfer of thermal energy (...)
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  14. Mereological Nominalism.Nikk Effingham - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):160-185.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  15. The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  16. Against Disjunctive Properties: Four Armstrongian Arguments.Bo R. Meinertsen - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):95-106.
    This paper defends the case against (sparse) disjunctive properties by means of four Armstrongian arguments. The first of these is a logical atomist argument from truthmaking, which is, broadly speaking, ‘Armstrongian’ (Armstrong 1997). This argument is strong – although it stands or falls with the relevant notion of truthmaking, as it were. However, three arguments, which are prima facie independent of truthmaking, can be found explicitly early in Armstrong’s middle period. Two of these early arguments face a serious objection put (...)
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  17. Properties.Francesco Orilia & Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    2020 update of the entry "Properties".
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  18. Against Conjunctive Properties.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35:421-437.
    I put in question in this article the existence of conjunctive properties. In the second section, after having provided a characterization of conjunctive properties, I develop an argument based on the principle of ontological parsimony: if we accept that there are conjunctive properties in the universe then, ceteris paribus, our ontology turns out to be less ontologically parsimonious than if we reject them. Afterwards, in the third section, I distinguish between maximalist and non-maximalist and reductionist and non-reductionist theories of conjunctive (...)
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  19. Emergence and Structural Properties.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Synthese (9):1-24.
    I present in this article a new theory of structural properties or, more precisely, of structural kinds, such as being methane. According to this theory, structural kinds are kinds that are both emergent and sustained in their existence. In the first section, I introduce structural properties and four problems that affect the most widely held conception of them, namely, the pictorial conception. In the second section, I introduce some theses about emergence, powers, emergent powers, relations and structures that I have (...)
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  20. A Defence of Lucretian Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):675-690.
    In this paper, we defend Lucretian Presentism. Although the view faces many objections and has proven unpopular with presentists, we rehabilitate Lucretianism and argue that none of the objections stick.
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  21. Partial Resemblance and Property Immanence.Paul Audi - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):884-903.
  22. Defining Qualitative Properties.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):995-1010.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic account of the metaphysically important distinction between haecceitistic properties, such as being David Lewis or being acquainted with David Lewis, and qualitative properties, such as being red or being acquainted with a famous philosopher. I first argue that this distinction is hyperintensional, that is, that cointensional properties can differ in whether they are qualitative. Then I develop an analysis of the qualitative/haecceitistic distinction according to which haecceitistic properties are relational in (...)
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  23. Grounding and Anchoring: On the Structure of Epstein’s Social Ontology.Mari Mikkola - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):198-216.
    ABSTRACTBrian Epstein’s The Ant Trap is a praiseworthy addition to literature on social ontology and the philosophy of social sciences. Its central aim is to challenge received views about the social world – views with which social scientists and philosophers have aimed to answer questions about the nature of social science and about those things that social sciences aim to model and explain, like social facts, objects and phenomena. The received views that Epstein critiques deal with these issues in an (...)
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  24. There is No Haecceitic Euthyphro Problem.Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):477-484.
    Jason Bowers and Meg Wallace have recently argued that those who hold that every individual instantiates a ‘haecceity’ are caught up in a Euthyphro-style dilemma when confronted with familiar cases of fission and fusion. Key to Bowers and Wallace’s dilemma are certain assumptions about the nature of metaphysical explanation and the explanatory commitments of belief in haecceities. However, I argue that the dilemma only arises due to a failure to distinguish between providing a metaphysical explanation of why a fact holds (...)
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  25. Logic Through a Leibnizian Lens.Craig Warmke - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    Leibniz's conceptual containment theory says that singular propositions of the form a is F are true when the complete concept of being a contains the concept of being F. In this paper, I provide a new semantics for first-order logic built around this idea. The semantics resolves longstanding problems for Leibniz's theory and can represent, without possible worlds, both hyperintensional distinctions among properties and a certain kind of presumably impossible situation that standard approaches cannot represent. The semantics also captures the (...)
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  26. Two Conceptions of Similarity.Ben Blumson - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):21-37.
    There are at least two traditional conceptions of numerical degree of similarity. According to the first, the degree of dissimilarity between two particulars is their distance apart in a metric space. According to the second, the degree of similarity between two particulars is a function of the number of (sparse) properties they have in common and not in common. This paper argues that these two conceptions are logically independent, but philosophically inconsonant.
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  27. Distance and Dissimilarity.Ben Blumson - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 48 (2):211-239.
    This paper considers whether an analogy between distance and dissimilarlity supports the thesis that degree of dissimilarity is distance in a metric space. A straightforward way to justify the thesis would be to define degree of dissimilarity as a function of number of properties in common and not in common. But, infamously, this approach has problems with infinity. An alternative approach would be to prove representation and uniqueness theorems, according to which if comparative dissimilarity meets certain qualitative conditions, then it (...)
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  28. Is Sex Socially Constructed?Alex Byrne - 2018 - Arc Digital (nov 30).
    Three arguments for the thesis that sex is socially constructed are examined and rejected. No such argument could succeed, because sex is not socially constructed.
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  29. Is Hobbes Really an Antirealist About Accidents?Sahar Joakim & C. P. Ragland - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (2):11-25.
    In Metaphysical Themes, Robert Pasnau interprets Thomas Hobbes as an anti-realist about all accidents in general. In opposition to Pasnau, we argue that Hobbes is a realist about some accidents (e.g., motion and magnitude). Section One presents Pasnau’s position on Hobbes; namely, that Hobbes is an unqualified anti-realist of the eliminativist sort. Section Two offers reasons to reject Pasnau’s interpretation. Hobbes explains that magnitude is mind-independent, and he offers an account of perception in terms of motion (understood as a mind-independent (...)
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  30. Bradley's Regress: A Matter of Parsimony.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2018 - In Daniele Bertini & Damiano Migliorini (eds.), Relations. Ontology and Philosophy of Religion. Milan: Mimesis International. pp. 109-122.
    I shall investigate in this contribution some solutions to Bradley's well-known regress. Moreover, I shall evaluate such solutions in light of the principle of ontological parsimony: all other things being equal, do not multiply entities (and types of entities) beyond necessity. This will show the advantages of accepting one peculiar solution to the regress, i.e., the one based on modes (particular properties that also ontologically depend on their " bearers "). In section 1, I shall present Bradley's regress. In section (...)
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  31. Properties, Predicates, Davidson and Deflation.Justin Clarke - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1085-1090.
    I want to motivate an account of what it is for an object to have a property, which may as well be called a deflationary view about properties. Such a view follows from a conception of predication I ground in the work of Donald Davidson, some of which remains unpublished. I claim that if we take seriously Davidson’s account of predication, by maintaining that sentences are the primary linguistic unit, we can define properties in terms of predicates. The aim of (...)
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  32. The Man Without Properties.Boris Hennig - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Contemporary philosophical logic rests on a distinction between things and properties. Properties are thought to differ from things in that their proper expression is incomplete or unsaturated. In this paper, I will argue that Aristotle did not distinguish between things and properties in this way. I will show, first, that Aristotle’s essences are not properties, and that certain passages in Aristotle make sense only if we do not take accidents to be properties either. The notion of a property is thus (...)
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  33. Making Sense of Negative Properties.David Hommen - 2017 - Axiomathes 28 (1):81-106.
    Few philosophers believe in the existence of so-called negative properties. Indeed, many find it mind-boggling just to imagine such entities. By contrast, I believe not only that negative properties are quite conceivable, but also that there are good reasons for thinking that some such properties actually exist. In this paper, I would like to explicate a concept of negative properties which I think avoids the logical absurdities commonly believed to frustrate theories of negative existences. To do this, I shall deploy (...)
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  34. The Metaphysics of Relations, Edited by Anna Marmodoro and David Yates. [REVIEW]Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):123–130.
    The Metaphysics of Relations is an anthology of thirteen original papers plus an introduction, addressing the philosophical issue of relations from a contemporary and historical perspective. The result is a remarkably coherent whole, where the different papers shed light on each other even though very few of them explicitly address interconnections. As a consequence, the book works really well as an introduction to the philosophical issue on relations, while the individual papers represent cutting edge research on the particular issues that (...)
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  35. Three Pervasive Presuppositions About Human Life and Ethics Strongly Warrant Analysis.Lantz Fleming Miller - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):484-503.
    Common philosophical discussions concerning the ethics of human interaction with the biosphere and universe have been significantly informed by certain presuppositions: nature is conquerable; human cultural and social progress is somewhat like a thing, beyond human control, and is inevitable and benevolent; and Homo sapiens is the superior life-form. Although arguments, such as whether humans should conquer nature, founded upon these presuppositions have sometimes been challenged, each of these three presuppositions wants direct analysis. The three have become so ingrained in (...)
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  36. Aquinas on the Problem of Universals.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):715-735.
  37. Taking Monism Seriously.David Michael Cornell - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2397-2415.
    Monism is the view that there is only a single material object in existence: the world. According to this view, therefore, the ordinary objects of common sense—cats and hats, cars and stars, and so on—do not actually exist; there is only the world. Because of this, monism is routinely dismissed in the contemporary literature as being absurd and obviously false. It is simply obvious that there is a plurality of material things, thus it is simply obvious that monism is false, (...)
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  38. Speaks's Reduction of Propositions to Properties: A Benacerraf Problem.T. Scott Dixon & Cody Gilmore - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):275-284.
    Speaks defends the view that propositions are properties: for example, the proposition that grass is green is the property being such that grass is green. We argue that there is no reason to prefer Speaks's theory to analogous but competing theories that identify propositions with, say, 2-adic relations. This style of argument has recently been deployed by many, including Moore and King, against the view that propositions are n-tuples, and by Caplan and Tillman against King's view that propositions are facts (...)
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  39. To Be F Is To Be G.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134.
    This paper is an investigation of the general logic of "identifications", claims such as 'To be a vixen is to be a female fox', 'To be human is to be a rational animal', and 'To be just is to help one's friends and harm one's enemies', many of which are of great importance to philosophers. I advocate understanding such claims as expressing higher-order identity, and discuss a variety of different general laws which they might be thought to obey. [New version: (...)
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  40. Theories of Properties and Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay in Metaontology.Christopher Gibilisco - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation argues that we have no good reason to accept any one theory of properties as correct. To show this, I present three possible bases for theory-choice in the properties debate: coherence, explanatory adequacy, and explanatory value. Then I argue that none of these bases resolve the underdetermination of our choice between theories of properties. First, I argue considerations about coherence cannot resolve the underdetermination, because no traditional theory of properties is obviously incoherent. Second, I argue considerations of explanatory (...)
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  41. Quidditism and the Resemblance of Properties.Ghislain Guigon - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):177-184.
    It is widely agreed that properties play causal roles: they capture the causal powers of things. But do properties have their causal roles essentially? David Lewis did not think so. He adhered to the doctrine of quidditism, namely the doctrine that the identity of properties is primitive and that they can trade their causal roles. Quidditism is controversial. But Lewis did not see why he should want to reject it. He knew that he could avoid quidditism on the cheap by (...)
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  42. Two Types of Quidditism.Tyler Hildebrand - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):516-532.
    According to structuralism, all natural properties are individuated by their roles in causal/nomological structures. According to quidditism, at least some natural properties are individuated in some other way. Because these theses deal with the identities of natural properties, this distinction cuts to the core of a serious metaphysical dispute: Are the intrinsic natures of all natural properties essentially causal/nomological in character? I'll argue that the answer is ‘no’, or at least that this answer is more plausible than many critics of (...)
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  43. Non-Symmetrical Relations, O-Roles, and Modes.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (4):373-395.
    I examine and discuss in this paper Orilia’s theory of external, non-symmetrical relations, that is based on ontological roles (O-Roles). I explore several attempts to interpret O-Roles from an ontological viewpoint and I reject them because of two problems concerning the status of asymmetrical relations (to be distinguished from non-symmetrical relations simpliciter) and of exemplification as an external, non-symmetrical relation. Finally, following Heil’s and Lowe’s characterization of modes as particular properties that ontologically depend on their “bearers”, I introduce relational modes (...)
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  44. A Neo-Armstrongian Defense of States of Affairs: A Reply to Vallicella.Katarina Perovic - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2):143-161.
    Vallicella’s influential work makes a case that, when formulated broadly, as a problem about unity, Bradley’s challenge to Armstrongian states of affairs is practically insurmountable. He argues that traditional relational and non-relational responses to Bradley are inadequate, and many in the current metaphysical debate on this issue have come to agree. In this paper, I argue that such a conclusion is too hasty. Firstly, the problem of unity as applied to Armstrongian states of affairs is not clearly defined; in fact, (...)
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  45. Relationalism About Perceptible Properties and the Principle of Charity.Pendaran Roberts & Kelly Ann Schmidtke - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    Color relationalism holds that the colors are constituted by relations to subjects. The introspective rejoinder against this view claims that it is opposed to our phenomenally-informed, pre-theoretic intuitions. The rejoinder seems to be correct about how colors appear when looking at how participants respond to an item about the metaphysical nature of color but not when looking at an item about the ascription of colors. The present article expands the properties investigated to sound and taste and inspects the mentioned asymmetry, (...)
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  46. In Defense of the Disjunctive.Alexander Skiles - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (5):471-487.
    Are there any disjunctive properties—features of things such as being either red or round, or Nelson Goodman’s infamous example of being grue? As esoteric as the question may seem at first, central issues about the metaphysics of properties hinge upon its answer, such as whether reductive views about special science properties can handle the phenomenon of multiple realizability. A familiar argument for a negative answer is that disjunctive properties fail to guarantee that their instances are similar in some genuine respect. (...)
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  47. The Bradleyan Regress, Non-Relational Realism, and the Quinean Semantic Strategy.Jonathan Reid Surovell - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (1):63-79.
    Non-Relational Realism is a popular solution to the Bradleyan regress of facts or truths. It denies that there is a relational universal of exemplification; for an object a to exemplify a universal F-ness, on this view, is not for a relation to subsist between a and F-ness. An influential objection to Non-Relational Realism is that it is unacceptably obscure. The author argues that Non-Relational Realism can be understood as a selective application of satisfaction semantics to predicates like ‘exemplify’, and that (...)
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  48. Modal Semantics Without Worlds.Craig Warmke - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):702-715.
    Over the last half century, possible worlds have bled into almost every area of philosophy. In the metaphysics of modality, for example, philosophers have used possible worlds almost exclusively to illuminate discourse about metaphysical necessity and possibility. But recently, some have grown dissatisfied with possible worlds. Why are horses necessarily mammals? Because the property of being a horse bears a special relationship to the property of being a mammal, they say. Not because every horse is a mammal in every possible (...)
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  49. The Many (yet Few) Faces of Deflationism.Jeremy Wyatt - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly (263):362-382.
    It's often said that according to deflationary theories of truth, truth is not a ‘substantial’ property. While this is a fine slogan, it is far from transparent what deflationists mean (or ought to mean) in saying that truth is ‘insubstantial’. Focusing so intently upon the concept of truth and the word ‘true’, I argue, deflationists and their critics have been insufficiently attentive to a host of metaphysical complexities that arise for deflationists in connection with the property of truth. My aim (...)
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  50. The Distinction Between Primary Properties and Secondary Qualities in Galileo's Natural Philosophy.F. Buyse - 2015 - Cahiers du Séminaire Québécois En Philosophie Moderne / Working Papers of the Quebec Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy 1:20-45.
    In Il Saggiatore (1623), Galileo makes a strict distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Although this distinction continues to be debated in philosophical literature up to this very day, Galileo's views on the matter, as well as their impact on his contemporaries and other philosophers, have yet to be sufficiently documented. The present paper helps to clear up Galileo's ideas on the subject by avoiding some of the misunderstandings that have arisen due to faulty translations of his work. In particular, (...)
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