No Work For a Theory of Universals

In Jonathan Schaffer & Barry Loewer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 116-137 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Several variants of Lewis's Best System Account of Lawhood have been proposed that avoid its commitment to perfectly natural properties. There has been little discussion of the relative merits of these proposals, and little discussion of how one might extend this strategy to provide natural property-free variants of Lewis's other accounts, such as his accounts of duplication, intrinsicality, causation, counterfactuals, and reference. We undertake these projects in this paper. We begin by providing a framework for classifying and assessing the variants of the Best System Account. We then evaluate these proposals, and identify the most promising candidates. We go on to develop a proposal for systematically modifying Lewis's other accounts so that they, too, avoid commitment to perfectly natural properties. We conclude by briefly considering a different route one might take to developing natural property-free versions of Lewis's other accounts, drawing on recent work by Williams.

Similar books and articles

Naturalness, intrinsicality, and duplication.Theodore R. Sider - 1993 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts
Overall similarity, natural properties, and paraphrases.Ghislain Guigon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):387-399.
Natural Properties and Bottomless Determination.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Americal Philosophical Quarterly 51:215-226.
Counterpart Theory, Natural Properties, and Essentialism.Todd Buras - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (1):27-42.
Lewis on Reference and Eligibility.J. R. G. Williams - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 367-382.
Intrinsicality and Hyperintensionality.Maya Eddon - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):314-336.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
Better Best Systems and the Issue of CP-Laws.Markus Schrenk - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1787-1799.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-07-31

Downloads
1,137 (#11,287)

6 months
126 (#31,522)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Christopher J. G. Meacham
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Maya Eddon
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Citations of this work

Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (1):1-49.
Powerful Properties, Powerless Laws.Heather Demarest - 2017 - In Jonathan D. Jacobs (ed.), Causal Powers. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 38-53.
Musical Works as Structural Universals.A. R. J. Fisher - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (3):1245-67.
Laws of Nature.Tyler Hildebrand - 2023 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

View all 26 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The metaphysics within physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.

View all 45 references / Add more references