Armstrong on the spatio-temporality of universals

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):301 – 308 (2006)
Abstract
Provocatively, David Armstrong's properties are supposed to be both universals and spatio-temporal. What does this amount to? I consider four of Armstrong's views, in order of ascending plausibility: (1) the exemplification account, on which universals are exemplified by space-times; (2) the location account, on which universals are located at space-times; (3) the first constituent account, on which spatio-temporal relations are elements of what I call the form of time; and, the true view, (4) the second constituent account, on which universals are spatio-temporal only 'derivatively' by being constituents of states of affairs which are so 'primarily'. The first two accounts are rejected because they entail that space-times must be substantival. In making plausible the second constituent account, I distinguish primitive and derivative spatio-temporality. Something is primitively spatio-temporal when it is at a space-time, or stands in spatio-temporal relations. Something is derivatively spatio-temporal when it is a constituent of something primitively spatio-temporal.
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