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  1. Jamin Asay (2014). Against Truth. Erkenntnis 79 (1):147-164.
    I argue that there is no metaphysically substantive property of truth. Although many take this thesis to be central to deflationism about truth, it is sometimes left unclear what a metaphysically substantive property of truth is supposed to be. I offer a precise account by relying on the distinction between the property and concept of truth. Metaphysical substantivism is the view that the property of truth is a sparse (non-abundant) property, regardless of how one understands the nature of sparse properties (...)
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  2. Paul Audi (2013). How to Rule Out Disjunctive Properties. Noûs 47 (4):748-766.
    Are there disjunctive properties? This question is important for at least two reasons. First, disjunctive properties are invoked in defense of certain philosophical theories, especially in the philosophy of mind. Second, the question raises the prior issue of what counts as a genuine property, a central concern in the metaphysics of properties. I argue here, on the basis of general considerations in the metaphysics of properties, that there are no disjunctive properties. Specifically, I argue that genuine properties must guarantee similarity-in-a-respect (...)
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  3. William A. Bauer (2012). Four Theories of Pure Dispositions. In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge. 139-162.
    The dispositional properties encountered in everyday experience seem to have causal bases in other properties, e.g., the microstructure of a vase is the causal basis of its fragility. In contrast, the Pure Dispositions Thesis maintains that some dispositions require no causal basis. This thesis faces the Problem of Being: without a causal basis, there appears to be no grounds for the existence of pure dispositions. This paper establishes criteria for evaluating the problem, critically examines four theories of the being of (...)
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  4. Ben Blumson, The Metaphysical Significance of the Ugly-Duckling Theorem.
    According to Satosi Watanabe's "theorem of the ugly duckling", the number of (possible) 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 (possible) 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 (...)
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  5. Berit Brogaard (2007). A Puzzle About Properties. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (3):635-650.
    The paper argues that the assumption that there are property designators, together with two theoretically innocent claims, leads to a puzzle, whose solution requires us to reject the position that all (canonical) property designators are rigid. But if we deny that all (canonical) property designators are rigid, then the natural next step is to reject an abundant conception of properties and with it the suggestion that properties are the semantic values of predicates.
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  6. Todd Buras (2006). Counterpart Theory, Natural Properties, and Essentialism. Journal of Philosophy 103 (1):27-42.
    David Lewis advised essentialists to judge his counterpart theory a false friend. He also argued that counterpart theory needs natural properties. This essay argues that natural properties are all essentialists need to find a true friend in counterpart theory. Section one explains why Lewis takes counterpart theory to be anti-essentialist and why he thinks it needs natural properties. Section two establishes the connection between the natural properties counterpart theory needs and the essentialist consequences Lewis disavows. Section three answers two objections: (...)
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  7. Ross P. Cameron (2010). Vagueness and Naturalness. Erkenntnis 72 (2):281 - 293.
    I attempt to accommodate the phenomenon of vagueness with classical logic and bivalence. I hold that for any vague predicate there is a sharp cut-off between the things that satisfy it and the things that do not; I claim that this is due to the greater naturalness of one of the candidate meanings of that predicate. I extend the thought to the problem of the many and Benacerraf cases. I go on to explore the idea that (...)
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  8. Joseph Keim Campbell, Matthew H. Slater & Michael O'Rourke (eds.) (forthcoming). Carving Nature at its Joints. Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 8. MIT Press.
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  9. Troy Cross (2012). Goodbye, Humean Supervenience. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:129-153.
    Reductionists about dispositions must either say the natural properties are all dispositional or individuate properties hyperintensionally. Lewis stands in as an example of the sort of combination I think is incoherent: properties individuated by modal profile + categoricalism.
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  10. David A. Denby (2001). Determinable Nominalism. Philosophical Studies 102 (3):297--327.
    I present, motivate, and defend a theory of properties. Its novel feature is that it takes entire determinables-together-with-their-determinates as its units of analysis. This, I argue, captures the relations of entailment and exclusion among properties, solves the problem of extensionality, and points the way towards an actualist analysis of modality.
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  11. Cian Dorr (2013). Reading Writing the Book of the World. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):717-724.
    This paper is a response to Theodore Sider's book, Writing the Book of the World. It raises some puzzles about Sider's favoured methodology for finding out about naturalness (or 'structure').
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  12. Cian Dorr (2004). Non-Symmetric Relations. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:155-92.
    Presupposing that most predicates do not correspond directly to genuine relations, I argue that all genuine relations are symmetric. My main argument depends on the premise that there are no brute necessities, interpreted so as to require logical and metaphysical necessity to coincide for sentences composed entirely of logical vocabulary and primitive predicates. Given this premise, any set of purportedly primitive predicates by which one might hope to express the facts about non-symmetric relations order their relata will generate an objectionable (...)
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  13. Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne (2013). Naturalness. In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, vol. 8. Oxford University Press. 1.
    Lewis's notion of a "natural" property has proved divisive: some have taken to the notion with enthusiasm, while others have been sceptical. However, it is far from obvious what the enthusiasts and the sceptics are disagreeing about. This paper attempts to articulate what is at stake in this debate.
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  14. M. Eddon (2007). Armstrong on Quantities and Resemblance. Philosophical Studies 136 (3):385 - 404.
    Resemblances obtain not only between objects but between properties. Resemblances of the latter sort - in particular resemblances between quantitative properties - prove to be the downfall of a well-known theory of universals, namely the one presented by David Armstrong. This paper examines Armstrong's efforts to account for such resemblances within the framework of his theory and also explores several extensions of that theory. All of them fail.
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  15. M. Eddon & C. J. G. Meacham (forthcoming). No Work For a Theory of Universals. In Jonathan Schaffer & Barry Loewer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis.
    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 (...)
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  16. Douglas Edwards (2013). Naturalness, Representation and the Metaphysics of Truth. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):384-401.
    : This paper explores how consideration of the notions of naturalness and eligibility, which have played an increasingly significant role in contemporary metaphysics, might impact on the study of truth. In particular, it aims to demonstrate how taking such notions seriously may be of benefit to ‘representational’ theories of truth by showing how the naturalness of truth on a representational account provides a response to the ‘Scope Problem’ presented by Lynch (2009).
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  17. Evan Fales (2005). World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):494-497.
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  18. Ghislain Guigon (2014). Overall Similarity, Natural Properties, and Paraphrases. Philosophical Studies 167 (2):387-399.
    I call anti-resemblism the thesis that independently of any contextual specification there is no determinate fact of the matter about the comparative overall similarity of things. Anti-resemblism plays crucial roles in the philosophy of David Lewis. For instance, Lewis has argued that his counterpart theory is anti-essentialist on the grounds that counterpart relations are relations of comparative overall similarity and that anti-resemblism is true. After Lewis committed himself to a form of realism about natural properties he maintained that anti-resemblism is (...)
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  19. Toby Handfield (2010). Review of A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable, by Anjan Chakravartty. [REVIEW] Mind 118 (472):1118-1121.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  20. Matthew C. Haug (2011). Natural Properties and the Special Sciences. The Monist 94 (2):244-266.
    In this paper, I investigate how different views about the vertical and horizontal structure of reality affect the debate between reductive and nonreductive physicalism. This debate is commonly assumed to hinge on whether there are high-level, special-science properties that are distinct from low-level physical properties and whether the alleged multiple realizability of high-level properties establishes this. I defend a metaphysical interpretation of nonreductive physicalismin the absence of both of these assumptions. Adopting an independently motivated, discipline-relative account of natural properties and (...)
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  21. John Hawthorne (2007). Craziness and Metasemantics. Philosophical Review 116 (3):427-440.
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  22. John Hawthorne (2001). Intrinsic Properties and Natural Relations. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):399-403.
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  23. Allan Hazlett, Limning Structure as an Epistemic Goal.
    In the Phaedrus, Socreates sympathetically describes the ability “to cut up each kind according to its species along its natural joints, and to try not to splinter any part, as a bad butcher might do.” (265e) In contemporary philosophy, Ted Sider (2009, 2011) defends the same idea. As I shall put it, Plato and Sider’s idea is that limning structure is an epistemic goal. My aim in this paper is to articulate and defend this idea. First, I’ll articulate the notion (...)
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  24. Eli Hirsch (1993). Dividing Reality. Oxford University Press.
    The central question in this book is why it seems reasonable for the words of our language to divide up the world in ordinary ways rather than other imaginable ways. Hirsch calls this the division problem. His book aims to bring this problem into sharp focus, to distinguish it from various related problems, and to consider the best prospects for solving it. In exploring various possible responses to the division problem, Hirsch examines series of "division principles" which purport to express (...)
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  25. Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (2013). Properties: Qualities, Powers, or Both? Dialectica 67 (1):55-80.
    Powers are popularly assumed to be distinct from, and dependent upon, inert qualities, mainly because it is believed that qualities have their nature independently of other properties while powers have their nature in virtue of a relation to distinct manifestation property. George Molnar and Alexander Bird, on the other hand, characterize powers as intrinsic and relational. The difficulties of reconciling the characteristics of being intrinsic and at the same time essentially related are illustrated in this paper and it is argued (...)
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  26. Kathrin Koslicki (2008). Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms. Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802.
    The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged (...)
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  27. David Lewis (1983). New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (December):343-377.
  28. Barry Loewer (2007). Laws and Natural Properties. Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):313-328.
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  29. Dan Marshall (2012). Analyses of Intrinsicality in Terms of Naturalness. Philosophy Compass 7 (8):531-542.
    Over the last thirty years there have been a number of attempts to analyse the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties in terms of the facts about naturalness. This article discusses the three most influential of these attempts, each of which involve David Lewis. These are Lewis's 1983 analysis, his 1986 analysis, and his joint 1998 analysis with Rae Langton.
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  30. Dan Marshall & Josh Parsons (2001). Langton and Lewis on 'Intrinsic'. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):347-351.
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  31. Ulrich Meyer (2013). Modal Property Comprehension. Synthese 190 (4):693-707.
    To define new property terms, we combine already familiar ones by means of certain logical operations. Given suitable constraints, these operations may presumably include the resources of first-order logic: truth-functional sentence connectives and quantification over objects. What is far less clear is whether we can also use modal operators for this purpose. This paper clarifies what is involved in this question, and argues in favor of modal property definitions.
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  32. Philip T. Montague (1975). On the Relation of Natural Properties to Normative and Evaluative Properties. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 35 (3):341-351.
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  33. Bence Nanay (2011). What If Reality has No Architecture? The Monist 94 (181):197.
    The aim of this paper is to show that we can deny that reality is neatly segmented into natural kinds and still give a plausible view about what science is supposed to do – and the way science in fact works does not rely on the dubious metaphysical assumption that reality is segmented into natural kinds. The score is simple: either there are natural kinds or there aren’t. The former view has been the default position in mainstream analytic metaphysics and (...)
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  34. David S. Oderberg (2011). Essence and Properties. Erkenntnis 75 (1):85-111.
    The distinction between the essence of an object and its properties has been obscured in contemporary discussion of essentialism. Locke held that the properties of an object are exclusively those features that ‘flow’ from its essence. Here he follows the Aristotelian theory, leaving aside Locke’s own scepticism about the knowability of essence. I defend the need to distinguish sharply between essence and properties, arguing that essence must be given by form and that properties flow from form. I give a precise (...)
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  35. Anthony Quinton (1957). Properties and Classes. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 58:33 - 58.
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  36. David H. Sanford (1993). Disjunctive Predicates. American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (2):167-1722.
    Philosophers have had difficulty in explaining the difference between disjunctive and non-disjunctive predicates. Purely syntactical criteria are ineffective, and mention of resemblance begs the question. I draw the distinction by reference to relations between borderline cases. The crucial point about the disjoint predicate 'red or green', for example, is that no borderline case of 'red' is a borderline case of 'green'. Other varieties of disjunctive predicates are: inclusively disjunctive (such as 'red or hard'), disconnected (such as 'grue' on the usual (...)
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  37. Jonathan Schaffer (2004). Two Conceptions of Sparse Properties. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1):92–102.
    Are the sparse properties drawn from all the levels of nature, or only the fundamental level? I discuss the notion of sparse property found in Armstrong and Lewis, show that there are tensions in the roles they have assigned the sparse properties, and argue that the sparse properties should be drawn from all the levels of nature.
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  38. Theodore Sider (1996). Naturalness and Arbitrariness. Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):283 - 301.
    Peter Forrest and D.M. Armstrong have given an argument against a theory of naturalness proposed by David Lewis based on the fact that ordered pairs can be constructed from sets in any of a number of different ways. 1. I think the argument is good, but requires a more thorough defense. Moreover, the argument has important consequences that have not been noticed. I introduce a version of Lewis’s proposal in section one, and then in section two I present and defend (...)
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  39. Theodore Sider (1995). Sparseness, Immanence, and Naturalness. Noûs 29 (3):360-377.
    In the past fifteen years or so there has been a lot of attention paid to theories of “sparse” universals, particularly because of the work of D. M. Armstrong. These theories are of particular interest to those of us concerned with the distinction between natural and non-natural properties, since, as David Lewis has observed, it seems possible to analyze naturalness in terms of sparse universals. Moreover, Armstrong claims that we should conceive of universals as being “immanent” as opposed to “transcendent”, (...)
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  40. Theodore Sider (1993). Naturalness, Intrinsicality, and Duplication. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts
    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 (...)
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  41. Benjamin Smart, Individual Essences.
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  42. Chris Swoyer (1996). Theories of Properties: From Plenitude to Paucity. Philosophical Perspectives 10:243 - 264.
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  43. Barry Taylor (1993). On Natural Properties in Metaphysics. Mind 102 (405):81-100.
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  44. Brandon N. Towl (2010). Spurious Causal Kinds: A Problem for the Causal-Power Conception of Kinds. Philosophia 38 (1):217-223.
    There is an assumption common in the philosophy of mind literature that kinds in our sciences—or causal kinds, at least—are individuated by the causal powers that objects have in virtue of the properties they instantiate. While this assumption might not be problematic by itself, some authors take the assumption to mean that falling under a kind and instantiating a property amount to the same thing. I call this assumption the “Property-Kind Individuation Principle”. A problem with this principle arises because there (...)
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  45. Peter Vallentyne (1998). The Nomic Role Account of Carving Reality at the Joints. Synthese 115 (2):171-198.
    Natural properties are those that carve reality at the joints. The notion of carving reality at the joints, however, is somewhat obscure. It is sometimes understood in terms of making for similarity, sometimes in terms of conferring causal powers, and sometimes in terms of figuring in the laws of nature. I develop and assess an account of the third sort according to which carving reality at the joints is understood as having the right level of determinacy relative to nomic roles. (...)
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  46. Pekka Väyrynen (2009). Normative Appeals to the Natural. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
    Surprisingly, many ethical realists and anti-realists, naturalists and not, all accept some version of the following normative appeal to the natural (NAN): evaluative and normative facts hold solely in virtue of natural facts, where their naturalness is part of what fits them for the job. This paper argues not that NAN is false but that NAN has no adequate non-parochial justification (a justification that relies only on premises which can be accepted by more or less everyone who accepts NAN) to (...)
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  47. Brad Weslake, The Problem of Disjunctive Explanations.
    I present a problem for theories of explanation, concerning explanations involving disjunctive properties. The problem is particular acute for the explanatory non-fundamentalist, according to whom non-fundamental scientific explanations are sometimes superior to fundamental physical explanations. I criticise solutions to the problem due to Woodward, Strevens and Sober, and Lewis, and then defend a solution inspired by an account of non-fundamental laws recently defended by Callender and Cohen.
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  48. J. Robert G. Williams (2007). Eligibility and Inscrutability. Philosophical Review 116 (3):361-399.
    Inscrutability arguments threaten to reduce interpretationist metasemantic theories to absurdity. Can we find some way to block the arguments? A highly influential proposal in this regard is David Lewis’ ‘eligibility’ response: some theories are better than others, not because they fit the data better, but because they are framed in terms of more natural properties. The purposes of this paper are (1) to outline the nature of the eligibility proposal, making the case that it is not ad hoc, but instead (...)
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  49. Robert Williams, On Sider on Naturalness.
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  50. D. Gene Witmer, William Butchard & Kelly Trogdon (2005). Intrinsicality Without Naturalness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):326–350.
    Rae Langton and David Lewis have proposed an account of "intrinsic property" that makes use of two notions: being independent of accompaniment and being natural. We find the appeal to the first of these promising; the second notion, however, we find mystifying. In this paper we argue that the appeal to naturalness is not acceptable and offer an alternative definition of intrinsicality. The alternative definition makes crucial use of a notion commonly used by philosophers, namely, the notion of one property (...)
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