David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Analytica 26 (2):115-133 (2011)
Armstrong’s combinatorial theory of possibility faces the obvious difficulty that not all universals are compatible. In this paper I develop three objections against Armstrong’s attempt to account for property incompatibilities. First, Armstrong’s account cannot handle incompatibilities holding among properties that are either simple, or that are complex but stand to one another in the relation of overlap rather than in the part/ whole relation. Secondly, at the heart of Armstrong’s account lies a notion of structural universals which, building on an objection by David Lewis, is shown to be incoherent. I consider and reject two alternative ways of construing the composition of structural universals in an attempt to meet Lewis’ objection. An important consequence of this is that all putative structural properties are in fact simple. Finally, I argue that the quasi-mereological account presupposes modality in a way that undermines the reductionist aim of the combinatorialist theory of which it is a central part. I conclude that Armstrong’ quasi-mereological account of property incompatibility fails. Without that account, however, Armstrong’s combinatorial theory either fails to get off the ground, or else must give up its goal of reducing the notion of possibility to something non-modal
|Keywords||David Armstrong David Lewis Property incompatibility Reduction of modality Mereology Structural universals|
|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
D. M. Armstrong (1989). A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility. Cambridge University Press.
D. M. Armstrong (1993). A World of States of Affairs. Philosophical Perspectives 7 (3):429-440.
D. M. Armstrong (1986). In Defence of Structural Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (1):85 – 88.
D. M. Armstrong (1986). The Nature of Possibility. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (4):575 - 594.
D. M. Armstrong (1978). Universals and Scientific Realism. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ernâni Magalhães (2006). Armstrong on the Spatio-Temporality of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):301 – 308.
M. Eddon (2007). Armstrong on Quantities and Resemblance. Philosophical Studies 136 (3):385 - 404.
Matteo Morganti (2011). The Partial Identity Account of Partial Similarity Revisited. Philosophia 39 (3):527-546.
Peter Forrest (2006). The Operator Theory of Instantiation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):213 – 228.
David Efird & Tom Stoneham (2006). Combinatorialism and the Possibility of Nothing. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):269 – 280.
Kris McDaniel (2009). Structure-Making. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):251-274.
Joan Pagès (2002). Structural Universals and Formal Relations. Synthese 131 (2):215 - 221.
Javier Kalhat (2008). A Critique of Armstrong's Truthmaking Account of Possibility. Acta Analytica 23 (2):161-176.
Javier Kalhat (2008). Structural Universals and the Principle of Uniqueness of Composition. Grazer Philosophische Studien 76 (1):57-77.
Added to index2010-02-24
Total downloads97 ( #22,408 of 1,707,799 )
Recent downloads (6 months)60 ( #12,646 of 1,707,799 )
How can I increase my downloads?