The operator theory of instantiation

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):213 – 228 (2006)
Armstrong holds the Supervenience Theory of instantiation, namely that the instantiation of universals by particulars supervenes upon what particulars and what universals there are, where supervenience is stipulated to be explanatory or dependent supervenience. I begin by rejecting the Supervenience Theory of instantiation. Having done so it is then tempting to take instantiation as primitive. This has, however, an awkward consequence, undermining one of the main advantages universals have over tropes. So I examine another account hinted at by Armstrong. This is the Operator Theory of instantiation, by which I mean the theory that universals are operators, and that a particular instantiates a monadic universal because the universal operates on the particular, resulting in the state of affairs. On this theory the state of affairs supervenes on the instantiation rather than vice versa. In the second part of the paper I develop this theory of universals as operators, including an account of structural universals, which are useful for accounts of modality and of mathematics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00048400600759001
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
D. M. Armstrong (1993). A World of States of Affairs. Philosophical Perspectives 7 (3):429-440.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

68 ( #48,438 of 1,725,806 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #210,647 of 1,725,806 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.