If Tropes

Dissertation, Lund University (2002)
Abstract
The treatise attempts to approach and deal with some of the most fundamental problems facing anyone who wishes to uphold some version of the so-called theory of tropes. Three assumptions serve as a basis for the investigation: (i) tropes (i.e. particular properties) exist, (ii) only tropes exist (that is, tropes are the only basic or fundamental kinds of entities), and (iii) a one-category trope-theory along these lines should be developed so that the tropes it postulates are able to serve as truth-makers for all kinds of atomic propositions. Provided that these assumptions are accepted, it is found that the trope-theorist will have to deal with two important problems. First, some atomic propositions seem to require universal truth-makers. Second, some atomic propositions seem to require concrete truth-makers. As tropes are abstract particulars, it follows that the trope-theorist, in order to fulfil assumption (iii), must provide an account of exactly how he or she could construct universality and concreteness from his or her basic stock of tropes. In the treatise such constructions are attempted and some basic problems with such constructions are revealed (mainly problems having to do with the threat of regress). Although these problems are serious enough it is argued that it is nevertheless possible to deal with these basic issues while staying squarely within the boundaries of a one-category trope-ontology
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