Lowe’s Eliminativism about Relations and the Analysis of Relational Inherence

In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), E. J. Lowe and Ontology. London: Routledge. pp. 105-122 (2022)
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Contrary to widely shared opinion in analytic metaphysics, E.J. Lowe argues against the existence of relations in his posthumously published paper There are probably no relations (2016). In this article, I assess Lowe’s eliminativist strategy, which aims to show that all contingent “relational facts” have a monadic foundation in modes characterizing objects. Second, I present two difficult ontological problems supporting eliminativism about relations. Against eliminativism, metaphysicians of science have argued that relations might well be needed in the best a posteriori motivated account of the structure of reality. Finally, I argue that, by analyzing relational inherence, trope theory offers us a completely new approach to relational entities and avoids the hard problems motivating eliminativism.



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Markku Keinänen
Tampere University

References found in this work

The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Parts : a Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 2:277-279.

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