Parfit has argued for the revolutionary thesis that personal identity does not matter in ordinary survival, only the R-relation does. “Reconciliationists,” such as Lewis, have tried to stop this revolution, arguing that both personal identity and the R-relation matter. The disagreement has been between those who hold that only the R-relation matters and those who hold that, in addition, personal identity matters. But there is a third option. I argue that Parfit is right that personal identity does not matter but (...) he is wrong that the R-relation matters, and the reconciliationists are wrong to think both matter since neither does. (shrink)
Properties and objects are everywhere. We cannot take a step without walking into them; we cannot construct a theory in science without referring to them. Given their ubiquitous character, one might think that there would be a standard metaphysical account of properties and objects, but they remain a philosophical mystery. Douglas Ehring presents a defense of tropes--properties and relations understood as particulars--and of trope bundle theory as the best accounts of properties and objects, and advocates a specific brand of trope (...) nominalism, Natural Class Trope Nominalism. This position rejects the existence of universals, and holds that the nature of each individual trope is determined by its membership in various natural classes of tropes (in contrast with the view that a trope's nature is logically prior to those class memberships). -/- The first part of the book provides a general introduction and defense of tropes and trope bundle theory. Ehring demonstrates that there are tropes and indicates some of the things that tropes can do for us metaphysically, including helping to solve the problems of mental causation, while remaining neutral between different theories of tropes. In the second part he offers a more specific defense of Natural Class Trope Nominalism, and provides a full analysis of what a trope is. (shrink)
'Natural class' trope nominalism makes a trope's being of a certain sort--its nature--a matter of its membership in a certain natural class of actual tropes. It has been objected that on this theory had even a single member of the class of red tropes not existed, for example, then the type 'being red' would not have been instantiated and nothing would have been red. I argue that natural class trope nominalism can avoid this implication by way of counterpart theory as (...) applied to properties. (shrink)
A well-known ``overdetermination''argument aims to show that the possibility of mental causes of physical events in a causally closed physical world and the possibility of causally relevant mental properties are both problematic. In the first part of this paper, I extend an identity reply that has been given to the first problem to a property-instance account of causal relata. In the second, I argue that mental types are composed of physical types and, as a consequence, both mental and physical types (...) may be causally relevant with respect to the same physical effect, contrary to the overdetermination argument. In further sections, I argue that mental types have causal powers, consider some objections and reject an alternative version of part-whole physicalism. Throughout I assume that causal relata are tropes and property types are classes of tropes. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider an objection to ``natural class''trope nominalism, the view that a trope's nature isdetermined by its membership in a natural class of tropes.The objection is that natural class trope nominalismis inconsistent with causes' being efficacious invirtue of having tropes of a certain type. I arguethat if natural class trope nominalism is combinedwith property counterpart theory, then this objectioncan be rebutted.
In this paper, I try to make a bundle theory of objects consistentwith a temporal parts theory of object persistence. To that end,I propose that such bundles are made up of tropes includingthe co-instantiation relation.
Ehring shows the inadequacy of received theories of causation, and, introducing conceptual devices of his own, provides a wholly new account of causation as the persistence over time of individual properties, or "tropes.".
Memory theories of personal identity are subject to the difficulty that distinct simultaneous person stages may both stand in the memory relation to an earlier person stage. Apparently, Such theories entail that these two duplicate person stages are stages of the same person, A claim argued to be "obviously false". In this paper, I argue that the characteristics of these duplication cases usually cited to support this claim do not provide adequate evidence to make it cogent.
Martin bunzl in "causal factuals" ("erkenntnis" 21, 1984) attempts to adapt and improve upon an approach to causation associated with the counterfactual theory of causation. Bunzl proposes to use possible world semantics to analyze causal sentences without reference to counterfactuals. In this paper I argue that bunzl's analysis is subject to problem cases which bear a close resemblance to those which plague counterfactual theory.
Wesley Salmon has developed a theory of causation which makes use of the concepts of a "causal process" and a "causal interaction." Roughly, a causal process is a process which transmits its own structure, and a causal interaction is an intersection of processes which transforms the character of these processes. The cause-effect relation is analyzed as a causal interaction followed by a causal process which terminates in a further causal interaction. In this paper I present a series of problem cases (...) which run "counter" to Salmon's account. (shrink)
A standard objection to the thesis that all causation is simultaneous causation is that this claim rules out temporally extended causal chains. Defenders of universal simultaneous causation have suggested two replies: deny the supposed incompatibility between simultaneous causation and causal chains or deny the existence of causal chains. In this paper, I argue that neither type of defense of universal causation against this objection is plausible.