The material basis of predication and other concepts

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):331 – 347 (1988)
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Immanent realism is a justly popular theory of universals which is incomplete. It is not good enough to say that all universals are equally real and all equally inhere in objects. Concepts come in hierarchies, For example: "colored," "red" and "claret," where "claret" is a shade of red. Only those at the very bottom of the hierarchy exist in objects, And are rightly called properties. Only properties have causality as a criterion of identity. Frege's functional account of concepts can be adapted to explain how higher level concepts apply to objects. Between two concepts at different levels there is a relationship called 'essential subordination', Which is different from all other relationships. That a person is said to possess a concept of a property is to be explained in terms of a person possessing certain mental capacity, Which enables him to make certain judgments. Properties are concepts which exist in objects



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