David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Axiomathes 23 (2):381-399 (2013)
The question whether qualities are metaphysically more fundamental than or mere limiting cases of relations can be addressed in an applied symbolic logic. There exists a logical equivalence between qualitative and relational predications, in which qualities are represented as one-argument-place property predicates, and relations as more-than-one-argument-place predicates. An interpretation is first considered, according to which the logical equivalence of qualitative and relational predications logically permits us ontically to eliminate qualities in favor of relations, or relations in favor of qualities. If metaphysics is understood at least in part as an exercise in ontic economy, then we may be encouraged to adopt a property ontology of qualities without quality-irreducible relations, or relations without relation-irreducible qualities. If either strategy is followed, the choice of reducing qualities to relations or relations to qualities will need to be justified on extra-logical grounds. These might include a perceived greater intuitiveness, explanatory fecundity, compatibility with cognitive ontogeny or developmental psychology, expressive or explanatory elegance or cumbersomeness, and an open-ended list of philosophical motivations that could reasonably favor the ontic prioritization of qualities over relations or relations over qualities. Despite its intuitive appeal, the thesis that logical equivalence together with extra-logical preferences justifies unidirectional ontic reduction of relations to qualities or qualities to relations is rejected in light of the more defensible proposition that the logical equivalence of qualitative and relational predications actually supports the opposite conclusion, that both qualities and relations are logically indispensable to a complete ontology of properties. The logical equivalence of qualitative and relational predications, insofar as we continue to observe the distinction, makes it logically necessary ontically for both qualities and relations to exist whenever either one exists. That logically equivalent qualitative and relational predications have as their truth-makers the exemplification by objects of both qualities and relations as equi-foundational properties further suggests that there is no deeper logical distinction between qualities and relations, but only two convenient lexical-grammatical designations for property predications involving one- versus more-than-one-argument-place
|Keywords||Abstraction Exemplification Identity Logic, logical equivalence Metaphysics Ontic reduction Ontology Property Quality Relation Semantics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
H. P. Barendregt (1984). The Lambda Calculus: Its Syntax and Semantics. Sole Distributors for the U.S.A. And Canada, Elsevier Science Pub. Co..
Nicholas Griffin & Dale Jacquette (eds.) (2009). Russell Vs. Meinong: The Legacy of "on Denoting". Routledge.
David Hume (2009/2004). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press. 112.
Karel Lambert (1987). Predication and Ontology. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):603 - 614.
W. V. Quine (1964). Ontological Reduction and the World of Numbers. Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):209-216.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alex Byrne (2011). Sensory Qualities, Sensible Qualities, Sensational Qualities. In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oup Oxford.
Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2008). Basic Sensible Qualities and the Structure of Appearance. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):385-405.
Rae Langton (2000). Locke's Relations and God's Good Pleasure. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (1):75–91.
Robert Pasnau (2006). A Theory of Secondary Qualities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):568-591.
Niall Connolly (2011). How the Dead Live. Philosophia 39 (1):83-103.
Peter Simons (2010). Relations and Truthmaking. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 84 (1):199-213.
Mark Eli Kalderon (2007). Color Pluralism. Philosophical Review 116 (4):563-601.
Herbert Hochberg (1996). Particulars, Universals and Russell's Late Ontology. Journal of Philosophical Research 21:129-137.
Lidia Obojska (2007). “Primary Relations” in a New Foundational Axiomatic Framework. Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (6):641 - 657.
Robert A. Wilson (forthcoming). Primary and Secondary Qualities. In Matthew Stuart (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Locke. Blackwell.
Robert Pasnau (2006). A Theory of Secondary Qualities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):568–591.
Susan A. J. Stuart (2007). Michael Tye, Consciousness and Persons; Unity and Identity. Minds and Machines 17 (3):365-367.
Michael Tye (2007). The Problem of Common Sensibles. In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Perception and Status of Secondary Qualities. Kluwer. 287 - 303.
Added to index2011-06-15
Total downloads33 ( #60,006 of 1,410,172 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,456 of 1,410,172 )
How can I increase my downloads?