Naturalness, intrinsicality, and duplication

Dissertation, University of Massachusetts (1993)
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Abstract

This dissertation explores the concepts of naturalness, intrinsicality, and duplication. An intrinsic property is had by an object purely in virtue of the way that object is considered in itself. Duplicate objects are exactly similar, considered as they are in themselves. The perfectly natural properties are the most fundamental properties of the world, upon which the nature of the world depends. In this dissertation I develop a theory of intrinsicality, naturalness, and duplication and explore their philosophical applications. Chapter 1 introduces the notions, gives a preliminary survey of some proposed conceptual connections between the notions, and sketches some of their proposed applications. Chapter 2 gives my background assumptions and introduces notational conventions. In chapter 3 I present a theory of naturalness. Although I take ‘natural’ as a primitive, I clarify this notion by distinguishing and explicating various conceptions of naturalness. In chapter 4 I give a theory of various notions related to naturalness, especially intrinsicality and duplication. I show that ‘intrinsic’ and ‘duplicate’ are interde nable, and then give analyses of these and other notions in terms of naturalness. If, as I think likely, naturalness cannot be analyzed, then what is the proper response? David Lewis suggests: accept naturalness as a primitive. I am sympathetic to this proposal, but not to the form Lewis gives it: chapter 5 contains an argument against Lewis’s theory of naturalness. In chapter 6 I reject the idea that naturalness is analyzable in terms of immanent universals. I focus on the work of D. M. Armstrong. I also criticize Armstrong’s arguments against transcendent universals.

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Theodore Sider
Rutgers - New Brunswick

Citations of this work

Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
Intrinsic vs. extrinsic properties.Dan Marshall & Brian Weatherson - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Intrinsic properties.Theodore Sider - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 83 (1):1 - 27.
Against monism.Theodore Sider - 2007 - Analysis 67 (1):1–7.

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References found in this work

The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Wittgenstein on rules and private language.Saul A. Kripke - 1982 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 173 (4):496-499.

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