Identity through time and trope bundles

Topoi 19 (2):147-155 (2000)
This paper brings together two theories that I have propounded separately elsewhere. The first is the view that concrete individuals are constituted completely by tropes, that they are trope bundles. The second and more recently developed theory is that of the two major categories of concrete individuals, continuants and occurrents, the latter are ontologically more basic than the former and that continuants are to be viewed as invariants among occurrents under equivalence relations. The latter theory embodies on its own an account of the nature of identity through time of things that are in time but not extended in time. The question is whether this view is compatible with the trope bundle account of concrete particulars, and, assuming it is (both theories being separately attractive) whether bringing them together entails any modifications (other than complexity) to either theory. After examining likely metaphysical difficulties the tentative conclusion is that the attractiveness of the trope bundle theory persists despite the marriage, but that the mental picture of what tropes and trope bundles are must be overhauled.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Philosophy of Science   Philosophy of Technology
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006485216998
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