An Analysis of Properties in John Heil’s "From an Ontological Point of View"

In G. Romano & Malatesti (eds.), From an Ontological Point of View, SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review, Symposium. SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review (2007)
In this paper I argue that the requirement for the qualitative is theory-dependent, determined by the fundamental assumptions built into the ontology. John Heil’s qualitative, in its role as individuator of objects and powers, is required only by a theory that posits a world of distinct objects or powers. Does Heil’s ‘deep’ view of the world, such that there is only one powerful object (e.g. a field containing modes or properties which we perceive as manifest everyday objects) require the qualitative as individuator of objects and powers? The answer depends on whether it is possible to account for the manifest objects and the ostensible spatial primacy of our perceived world without recourse to the qualitative. In this paper I outline just such an account with the intention of extending Heil’s efforts to incorporate fundamental power in the world while providing a coherent explanation for our strong intuition of spatial, as against relational, priority.
Keywords powers  categorical properties  dispositional properties  qualitative properties  Heil, John  individuation
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