David Lewis famously argued against structuraluniversals since they allegedly required what he called a composition “sui generis” that differed from standard mereological com¬position. In this paper it is shown that, although traditional Boolean mereology does not describe parthood and composition in its full generality, a better and more comprehensive theory is provided by the foundational theory of categories. In this category-theoretical framework a theory of structuraluniversals can be formulated that overcomes the conceptual difficulties that (...) Lewis and his followers regarded as unsurmountable. As a concrete example of structuraluniversals groups are considered in some detail. (shrink)
Lewis has objected to Armstrong's notion of a structural universal on the grounds that it violates the Principle of Uniqueness of Composition (PUC), which says that given some parts, there is only one whole that they compose. This paper reviews Armstrong's case for structuraluniversals, and then attempts to reconcile structuraluniversals with PUC by arguing for the existence of arrangement universals. The latter are not only a key to defending structuraluniversals (...) against Lewis' objection, but are in fact essential to Armstrong's conception of structuraluniversals in general. Three objections to my proposal are deflected, and two alternative proposals are shown to be inferior to it. (shrink)
Some argue that theories of universals should incorporate structuraluniversals, in order to allow for the metaphysical possibility of worlds of 'infinite descending complexity' ('onion worlds'). I argue that the possibility of such worlds does not establish the need for structuraluniversals. So long as we admit the metaphysical possibility of emergent universals, there is an attractive alternative description of such cases.
I will consider Armstrong's problems in trying to account for structuraluniversals, i.e., a kind of complex universal whose instantiation by particulars involves different parts of those particulars instantiating several basic properties and relations, such as the property of being a molecule of methane. I present and criticise Armstrong's most recent attempt to explain structural properties by means of the identification of universals with types of states of affairs and I state my own solution to the (...) problem by appealing to formal relations holding between particulars. (shrink)
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 structuraluniversals 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 structuraluniversals 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. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to elucidate the mereological structure of complex states of affairs without relying on the problematic notion of structuraluniversals. For this task tools from graph theory, lattice theory, and the theory of relational systems are employed. Our starting point is the mereology of similarity structures. Since similarity structures are structured sets, their mereology can be considered as a generalization of the mereology of sets ...
Armstrong holds that a law of nature is a certain sort of structural universal which, in turn, fixes causal relations between particular states of affairs. His claim that these nomic structuraluniversals explain causal relations commits him to saying that such universals are irreducible, not supervenient upon the particular causal relations they fix. However, Armstrong also wants to avoid Plato’s view that a universal can exist without being instantiated, a view which he regards as incompatible with (...) naturalism. This construal of naturalism forces Armstrong to say that universals are abstractions from a certain class of particulars; they are abstractions from first-order states of affairs, to be more precise. It is here argued that these two tendencies in Armstrong cannot be reconciled: To say that universals are abstractions from first-order states of affairs is not compatible with saying that universals fix causal relations between particulars. Causal relations are themselves states of affairs of a sort, and Armstrong’s claim that a law is a kind of structural universal is best understood as the view that any given law logically supervenes on its corresponding causal relations. The result is an inconsistency, Armstrong having to say that laws do not supervene on particular causal relations while also being committed to the view that they do so supervene. The inconsistency is perhaps best resolved by denying that universals are abstractions from states of affairs. (shrink)
The epistemological version of structural realism, proposed by Cao Tianyu, has great influence in the philosophy of science. Syntheses has published a special volume discussing the topic. Cao criticizes anti-realism, as well as the epistemic and ontic versions of structural realism. From the concepts of structure, ontology, and construction, he analyzes the objectivity of scientific theories as having five aspects: construction, historicity, holism, revision, and revolution. This paper systematically analyzes and comments on Cao's structural realism. The author (...) agrees with his criticism of the under-determination thesis, is neutral to his argument against ontological discontinuity, and questions his universal language argument. (shrink)
The goal of the paper is to develop a universal semantic approach to derivable rules of propositional multiple-conclusion sequent calculi with structural rules, which explicitly involve not only atomic formulas, treated as metavariables for formulas, but also formula set variables (viz., metavariables for finite sets of formulas), upon the basis of the conception of model introduced in (Fuzzy Sets Syst 121(3):27–37, 2001). One of the main results of the paper is that any regular sequent calculus with structural rules (...) has such class of sequent models (called its semantics ) that a rule is derivable in the calculus iff it is sound with respect to each model of the semantics. We then show how semantics of admissible rules of such calculi can be found with using a method of free models. Next, our universal approach is applied to sequent calculi for many-valued logics with equality determinant . Finally, we exemplify this application by studying sequent calculi for some of such logics. (shrink)
The bundle theory is a theory about the internal constitution of individuals. It asserts that individuals are entirely composed of universals. Typically, bundle theorists augment their theory with a constitutional approach to individuation entailing the thesis ‘identity of constituents is a sufficient ground for numerical identity’ (CIT). But then the bundle theory runs afoul of Black’s duplication case—a world containing two indiscernible spheres. Here I propose and defend a new version of the bundle theory that denies ‘CIT’, and which (...) instead conjoins it with a structural diversity thesis , according to which being separated by distance is a sufficient ground for numerical diversity. This version accommodates Black’s world as well as the three-spheres world —a world containing three indiscernible spheres, arranged as the vertices of an equilateral triangle. In this paper, I also criticize Rodriguez-Pereyra’s alternative attempt to defend the bundle theory against Black’s case and the case of the three-spheres world. (shrink)
My goal in this paper is to defend the plausibility of a particular version of collectivism – understood as the evolutionary claim that individual-level cognition is systematically biased in favor of aggregate-level regularities – in the domain of language. Chomsky's (1986) methodological promotion of I-language (speaker-internal knowledge) and the corresponding demotion of E-language (aggregate output of a population of speakers) has led mainstream cognitive science to view language essentially as a property of individual minds/brains whose evolution is best explained as (...) a result of the natural selection of an innate language faculty (Pinker 1994). Such a framework is largely oblivious to the linguistic dynamics arising from iterated learning, i.e. the fact that linguistic information must be periodically mapped from its I-linguistic into its E-linguistic medium and back in order to persist over time. Recent expression/induction models of language evolution, which are heavily inspired by the simulation-based methodology of Artificial Life, suggest that linguistic universals, such as compositional and recursive structure, can emerge from cultural selection alone (Brighton et al. 2005). I will conclude that there is both a biological and a cultural route towards collectivism. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not the key (...) to formulating the appropriate form of scientific realism in response to arguments from theory change, and that the case of phlogiston theory is shown to be readily accommodated by ontic structural realism. (shrink)
Radical Ontic Structural Realism (ROSR) claims that structure exists independently of objects that may instantiate it. Critics of ROSR contend that this claim is conceptually incoherent, insofar as, (i) it entails there can be relations without relata, and (ii) there is a conceptual dependence between relations and relata. In this essay I suggest that (ii) is motivated by a set-theoretic formulation of structure, and that adopting a category-theoretic formulation may provide ROSR with more support. In particular, I consider how (...) a category-theoretic formulation of structure can be developed that denies (ii), and can be made to do work in the context of formulating theories in physics. Keywords: structural realism, category theory, general relativity.. (shrink)
Starting from R. K. Merton's now classic criticism of 'holistic' functionalism, i.e. of a functionalism which postulates social unity, universality and functional in-dispensability, the author stresses certain implications of this criticism more than they have been stressed hitherto. Classical and holistic functionalism) from H. Spencer, B. Malinowski, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, etc to T. Parsons, postulates certain total unities (a global culture, an integrated system, etc.) in which each item (existence, actions, structures, etc.) is considered and defined on the grounds of (...) its consequences for the maintenance of the system as a whole; therefore holistic functionalism as a method is, in effect, the study of the consequences of the system on the items that compose it, since each of these items is defined within the sphere of the system and of its integrative functions. Merton's 'neo-functionalism', on the other hand, is remarkable not only in that it takes into account the 'dysfunctional' and 'nonfunctional' consequences of certain items on the system, but more especially because, within the context of functional analysis, it stresses the possible existence of structural substitutes and alternatives of functions, and therefore of latent structures which are foreign to objective functional consequences, as well as being able to deal with unanticipated and unexpected items and their consequences on the system. 'Neo-functionalism', which is susceptible of further development, is not limited to the study of the consequences of the system on its items: it can also reverse this scheme and study the consequences of certain items on the system. Merton's criticism of holistic functionalism therefore implies a broadening of the scientific resources of this method and a renewal of its interpretative scheme, thanks to which functional analysis ceases to appear as 'the* method of explaining sociology as a science, and becomes an interpretative method which complements the analysis of social structures and relations. Seen in this light the concept of structure becomes emancipated and independent of the concept of system and function; whereas, within the framework of universal functionalism, it was ancillary to the concept of function. Finally, latent structures and unconscious structures, conditions of possibility and subjective dispositions are favourable to social structures and social relations, not excluding those that are neither visible nor observable. This analysis, the author notes, is extremely meaningful and has great possibilities of development, especially in view of the structuralism recently to be noted in the human and social sciences: anthropology, history, linguistics, etc. (shrink)
Everything you always wanted to know about structural realism but were afraid to ask Content Type Journal Article Pages 227-276 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0025-7 Authors Roman Frigg, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK Ioannis Votsis, Philosophisches Institut, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, Geb. 23.21/04.86, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number (...) 2. (shrink)
Friends of states of affairs and structuraluniversals appeal to a relation, structure-making, that is allegedly a kind of composition relation: structure-making ?builds? facts out of particulars and universals, and ?builds? structuraluniversals out of unstructured universals. D. M. Armstrong, an eminent champion of structures, endorses two interesting theses concerning composition. First, that structure-making is a composition relation. Second, that it is not the only (fundamental) composition relation: Armstrong also believes in a mode of (...) composition that he calls mereological, and which he takes to be the only kind of composition recognized by his philosophical adversaries, such as David Lewis. Armstrong, accordingly, is a kind of pluralist about compositional relations: there is more than one way to make wholes from parts. In this paper, I critically evaluate Armstrong's compositional pluralism. (shrink)
I defend a realist commitment to the truth of our most empirically successful current scientific theories—on the ground that it provides the best explanation of their success and the success of their falsified predecessors. I argue that this Best Current Theory Realism (BCTR) is superior to preservative realism (PR) and the structural realism (SR). I show that PR and SR rest on the implausible assumption that the success of outdated theories requires the realist to hold that these theories possessed (...) truthful components. PR is undone by the fact that past theories succeeded even though their ontological claims about unobservables are false. SR backpeddles to argue that the realist is only committed to the truth about the structure of relations implied by the outdated theory, in order to explain its success. I argue that the structural component of theories is too bare-bones thin to explain the predictive/explanatory success of outdated theories. I conclude that BCTR can meet these objections to PR and SR, and also overcome the pessimistic meta-induction. (shrink)
This collection of articles and review essays, including many hard to find pieces, comprises the most important and fundamental studies of Indian logic and linguistics ever undertaken. Frits Staal is concerned with four basic questions: Are there universals of logic that transcend culture and time? Are there universals of language and linguistics? What is the nature of Indian logic? And what is the nature of Indian linguistics? By addressing these questions, Staal demonstrates that, contrary to the general assumption (...) among Western philosophers, the classical philosophers of India were rationalists, attentive to arguments. They were in this respect unlike contemporary Western thinkers inspired by existentialism or hermeneutics, and like the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and many medieval European schoolmen, only--as Staal says--more so. Universals establishes that Asia's contributions are not only compatible with what has been produced in the West, but a necessary ingredient and an essential component of any future human science. (shrink)
Structural realism is sometimes said to undermine the theory underdetermination (TUD) argument against realism, since, in usual TUD scenarios, the supposed underdetermination concerns the object-like theoretical content but not the structural content. The paper explores the possibility of structural TUD by considering some special cases from modern physics, but also questions the validity of the TUD argument itself. The upshot is that cases of structural TUD cannot be excluded, but that TUD is perhaps not such a (...) terribly serious anti-realistic argument. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that structural explanations are an effective way of explaining well known relativistic phenomena like length contraction and time dilation, and then try to understand how this can be possible by looking at the literature on scientific models. In particular, we ask whether and how a model like that provided by Minkowski spacetime can be said to represent the physical world, in such a way that it can successfully explain physical phenomena structurally. We conclude by (...) claiming that a partial isomorphic approach to scientific representation can supply an answer only if supplemented by a robust injection of pragmatic factors. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that singularist approaches to solving the Pessimistic Induction, such as Structural Realism, are unacceptable, but that when a pluralist account of methodological principles is adopted this anti-realist argument can be dissolved. The proposed view is a contextual methodological pluralism in the tradition of Normative Naturalism, and is justified by appeal to meta-methodological principles that are themselves justified via an externalist epistemology. Not only does this view provide an answer to the Pessimistic Induction, it can (...) also accommodate our strongest intuitions regarding the progress of science. (shrink)
Universals are a class of mind independent entities, usually contrasted with individuals, postulated to ground and explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals. Individuals are said to be similar in virtue of sharing universals. An apple and a ruby are both red, and their common redness results from sharing a universal. If they are both red at the same time, the universal, red, must be in two places at once. This makes universals quite different from (...) individuals, and controversial. Whether universals are in fact required to explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals has engaged metaphysicians for two thousand years. Disputants fall into one of three broad camps. Realists endorse universals. Conceptualists and Nominalists, on the other hand, refuse to accept universals and deny that they are needed. Conceptualists explain similarity among individuals by appealing to general concepts or ideas, things that exist only in minds. Nominalists, in contrast, are content to leave relations of qualitative resemblance brute and ungrounded. Numerous versions of Nominalism have been proposed, some with a great deal of sophistication. Contemporary philosophy has seen the rise of a new form of Nominalism, one that makes use of a special class of individuals, known as tropes. Familiar individuals have many properties, but tropes are single property instances. Whether Trope Nominalism improves on earlier Nominalist theories is the subject of much recent debate. In general, questions surrounding universals touch upon some of the oldest, deepest, and most abstract of philosophical issues. (shrink)
Organic chemists have been able to develop a robust, theoretical understanding of the phenomena they study; however, the primary theoretical devices employed in this field are not mathematical equations or laws, as is the case in most other physical sciences. Instead it is diagrams, and in particular structural formulas and potential energy diagrams, that carry the explanatory weight in the discipline. To understand how this is so, it is necessary to investigate both the nature of the diagrams employed in (...) organic chemistry and how these diagrams are used in the explanations of the discipline. I will begin this paper by characterizing some of the major ways that structural formulas used in organic chemistry. Next I will present a model of the explanations in organic chemistry and describe how both structural formulas and potential energy diagrams contribute to these explanations. This will be followed by several examples that support my abstract account of the role of diagrams in the explanations of organic chemistry. In particular, I will consider both the appeal to ‘hyperconjugation’ in the explanation of alkene stability and how the idea of ‘ring strain’ was developed to explain the relative stability of cyclic compounds. (shrink)
Conceptual primitives and semantic universals are the cornerstones of a semantic theory which Anna Wierzbicka has been developing for many years. Semantics: Primes and Universals is a major synthesis of her work, presenting a full and systematic exposition of that theory in a non-technical and readable way. It delineates a full set of universal concepts, as they have emerged from large-scale investigations across a wide range of languages undertaken by the author and her colleagues. On the basis of (...) empirical cross-linguistic studies it vindicates the old notion of the "psychic unity of mankind", while at the same time offering a framework for the rigorous description of different languages and cultures. (shrink)
In recent years Structural Realism has been revived as a compromise candidate to resolve the long-standing question of scientific realism. Recent debate over structural realism originates with Worrall's (1989) paper "Structural Realism: The best of Both Worlds". However, critics such as Psillos contend that structural realism incorporates an untenable distinction between structure and nature, and is therefore unworkable. In this paper I consider three versions of structural realism that purport to avoid such criticism. The first (...) is Chakravartty's "semirealism" which proceeds by trying to show that structural realism and entity realism entail one another. I demonstrate that this position will not work, but follow Chakravartty's contention that structural realism need not imply that scientific knowledge can only be of mathematical structure. I advance from this conclusion to sketch a version of structural realism that is consistent with recent deflationary approaches to the scientific realism question. Finally, I consider a third approach to structural realism Ladyman's "metaphysical structural realism" which tries to avoid the difficulties of earlier versions by taking structure to be ontologically primary. I show that the deflationary approach to structural realism undermines the rationale behind Ladyman's approach. (shrink)
The notion of similarity plays a central role in Quine’s theory of Universals and it is with the help of this notion that Quine intends to define the concept of kind which also plays a central role in the theory. But as Quine has admitted, his attempts to define kinds in terms of similarities were unsuccessful and it is mainly because of this shortcoming that Quine’s theory has been ignored by several philosophers (see, e.g., Armstrong, D. M. (1978a). Nominalism (...) and realism: Universals and Scientific realism (Vol. I). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). In the present paper, I propose an alternative framework that accounts for the phenomena that Quine intends to explain with his resemblance theory. The framework agrees with Quine’s austere ontology; in particular, it does not assume the existence of properties and of possible worlds. (I will mention below Quine’s reason for rejecting properties and possible worlds. For a theory of Universals that assumes possible worlds, see, e.g., Rodriguez-Pereyra, G. (2002). Resemblance nominalism: A solution to the problem of Universals. Oxford: Clarendon Press.) Moreover, the framework is extensionalist since the abstract entities it assumes are classes and these can be individuated extensionally, for classes are identical if their members are identical. Finally, I will refute some of the objections to Quine’s approach that have been raised by Armstrong and Oliver [(1996). The metaphysics of properties. Mind, 105, 1–80.] and I will argue that, contrary to what has been claimed by Oliver in a comment on Lewis [(1986). On the plurality of worlds. Oxford: Blackwell.], Quine is able to specify an important set of sparse properties. (shrink)
This is the revised version of an invited keynote lecture delivered at the 1st Australian Computing and Philosophy Conference (CAP@AU; the Australian National University in Canberra, 31 October–2 November, 2003). The paper is divided into two parts. The first part defends an informational approach to structural realism. It does so in three steps. First, it is shown that, within the debate about structural realism (SR), epistemic (ESR) and ontic (OSR) structural realism are reconcilable. It follows that a (...) version of OSR is defensible from a structuralist-friendly position. Second, it is argued that a version of OSR is also plausible, because not all relata (structured entities) are logically prior to relations (structures). Third, it is shown that a version of OSR is also applicable to both sub-observable (unobservable and instrumentally-only observable) and observable entities, by developing its ontology of structural objects in terms of informational objects. The outcome is informational structural realism, a version of OSR supporting the ontological commitment to a view of the world as the totality of informational objects dynamically interacting with each other. The paper has been discussed by several colleagues and, in the second half, ten objections that have been moved to the proposal are answered in order to clarify it further. (shrink)
The paper ends with an argument that says: necessarily, if there are finitely spatially extended particulars, then there are monadic universals. Before that, in order to characterize the distinction between particulars and universals, Roman Ingardenâs notions of existential moments and modes (ways) of being are presented, and a new pair of such existential moments is introduced: multiplicityâmonadicity. Also, it is argued that there are not only real universals, but instances of universals (tropes) and fictional universals (...) too. (shrink)
In this paper I consider two accounts of scientific discovery, Robert Hudson's and Peter Achinstein's. I assess their relative success and I show that while both approaches are similar in promising ways, and address experimental discoveries well, they could address the concerns of the discovery sceptic more explicitly than they do. I also explore the implications of their inability to address purely theoretical discoveries, such as those often made in mathematical physics. I do so by showing that extending Hudson's or (...) Achinstein's account to such cases can sometimes provide a misleading analysis about who ought to be credited as a discoverer. In the final sections of the paper I work out some revisions to the Hudson/Achinstein account by drawing from a so-called structural realist view of theory change. Finally, I show how such a modified account of discovery can answer sceptical critics such as Musgrave or Woolgar without producing misleading analyses about who ought to receive credit as a discoverer in cases from the mathematical sciences. I illustrate the usefulness of this approach by providing an analysis of the case of the discovery of the Casimir effect. (shrink)
The paper compares ontic structural realism in quantum physics with ontic structural realism about space–time. We contend that both quantum theory and general relativity theory support a common, contentful metaphysics of ontic structural realism. After recalling the main claim of ontic structural realism and its physical support, we point out that both in the domain of quantum theory and in the domain of general relativity theory, there are objects whose essential ways of being are certain relations (...) so that these objects do not possess an intrinsic identity. Nonetheless, the qualitative, physical nature of these relations is in the quantum case (entanglement) fundamentally different from the classical, metrical relations treated in general relativity theory. (shrink)
It has become commonplace in introductions to Indian philosophy to construe Plato’s discussion of forms (εἶδος/ἰδέα) and the treatment in Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika of universals ( sāmānya/jāti ) as addressing the same philosophical issue, albeit in somewhat different ways. While such a comparison of the similarities and differences has interest and value as an initial reconnaissance of what each says about common properties, an examination of the roles that universals play in the rest of their philosophical enquiries vitiates (...) this commonplace. This paper draws upon the primary texts to identify the following metaphysical, epistemological, semantic and soteriological roles that universals play in the philosophy of Plato and of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika: Metaphysical: causal of the existence of x Metaphysical: constitutive of the identity/essence of x Epistemological: cognitively causal (i.e. of the cognition of one over many) Epistemological: epistemically causal (i.e. of knowledge of x) Semantic: necessary condition of speech and reason Epistemological: vindicatory of induction (Nyāya only) Metaphysical: explanatory of causation (Nyāya only) Soteriological: cathartic contemplation (Plato only) These roles provide us with motivations or reasons to believe that universals exist. As we examine these motivations, we find pressures mounting against our assimilating Platonic forms and the universals of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika in the discourse about common properties. It is especially when we appreciate the utterly different contribution that universals make in securing our highest welfare that we realize how Plato and the two sister schools are not so much talking somewhat differently about the same thing, but talking somewhat similarly about different things. This better understanding of this difference in these philosophies opens a route for our better understanding of their unique contributions in the ongoing dialogue of philosophy. (shrink)
What all contemporary so-called aristotelian realists have in common has been identified by David Armstrong as the principle of instantiation. This principle has been put forward in different versions, but all of them have the following simple consequence in common: uninstantiated universals do not exist. Such entities are for the lotus-eating Platonist to countenance, but not for any sort of moderate realist. I shall argue that this principle, in any guise, is not the best way to differentiate aristotelianism from (...) Platonism. In its place, I shall suggest that the best way to differentiate the two versions of realism from each other is by means of a far more powerful idea: naturalism. And the surprising conclusion given this means of differentiation will be that contrary to the usual proclamations, Platonism will be the more naturalistic theory, whereas aristotelianism will come to be seen for what it really is, namely, non-naturalistic. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, J. P. Moreland (2013) extends his theory of individuation to include universals. In this note, I show how Moreland’s novel proposal leads to the unwanted conclusion that every concrete particular exists of necessity and has but a single essential property.
This paper argues for an ontological distinction between two kinds of universals, 'kinds of tropes' such as 'wisdom' and properties such as 'the property of being wise'. It argues that the distinction is parallel to that between two kinds of collections, pluralities such as 'the students' and collective objects such as 'the class'. The paper argues for the priortity of distributive readings with pluralities on the basis of predicates of extent or shape, such 'large' or 'long'.
This paper argues that ontic structural realism (OSR) faces a dilemma: either it remains on the general level of realism with respect to the structure of a given theory, but then it is, like epistemic structural realism, only a partial realism; or it is a complete realism, but then it has to answer the question how the structure of a given theory is implemented, instantiated or realized and thus has to argue for a particular interpretation of the theory (...) in question. This claim is illustrated by examining how OSR fares with respect to the three main candidates for an ontology of quantum mechanics, namely many worlds-type interpretations, collapse-type interpretations and hidden variable-type interpretations. The result is that OSR as such is not sufficient to answer the question of what the world is like if quantum mechanics is correct. (shrink)
There cannot be a reductive theory of modality constructed from the concepts of sparse particular and sparse universal. These concepts are suffused with modal notions. I seek to establish this conclusion by tracing out the pattern of modal entanglements in which these concepts are involved. In order to appreciate the structure of these entanglements a distinction must be drawn between the lower-order necessary connections in which particulars and universals apparently figure, and higher-order necesary connections. The former type of (...) connection relates specific entities. By contrast, the latter type of connection is unspecific: it relates entities to some others. I argue that whilst there may be techniques that succeed in providing reductive truth conditions for sentences that say particulars and universals figure in lower-order necessary connections, such techniques cannot succeed in providing reductive truth conditions for sentences that say these entities figure in higher-order necessary connections. I conclude that this situation leaves reductionists with a dilemma. If they wish to affirm that there are particulars and universals then the project of reducing modality by positing these entities must be abandoned. Alternatively, they may continue to deploy their usual reductive techniques but then they must abandon the doctrine that there is more than one fundamental category of entity. (shrink)
Scotus recidivus? -- On the structure of material substance in Scotus' metaphysics -- Substantial natures : neither singular nor universal, but common -- On individuation by the haecceity -- Numerical singular created natures and supposita.
The no-miracles argument for realism and the pessimistic meta-induction for anti-realism pull in opposite directions. Structural Realism---the position that the mathematical structure of mature science reflects reality---relieves this tension.
In this paper I argue, contra Fraser MacBride, that conceptual analysis, and in particular the distinction between numerical and qualitative identity, can solve the Problem of Universals, whether understood as the One over Many or the as the Many over One. In this paper I show why the solutions needed to solve either version of the problem must be in terms of truthmakers, and that the distinction between numerical and qualitative identity is not sufficient to solve them.
Abstract This paper contrasts the scholastic realisms of David Armstrong and Charles Peirce. It is argued that the so-called ?problem of universals? is not a problem in pure ontology (concerning whether universals exist) as Armstrong construes it to be. Rather, it extends to issues concerning which predicates should be applied where, issues which Armstrong sets aside under the label of ?semantics?, and which from a Peircean perspective encompass even the fundamentals of scientific methodology. It is argued that Peirce's (...) scholastic realism not only presents a more nuanced ontology (distinguishing the existent from the real) but also provides more of a sense of why realism should be a position worth fighting for. (shrink)
Music can be described as sequences of events that are structured in pitch and time. Studying music processing provides insight into how complex event sequences are learned, perceived, and represented by the brain. Given the temporal nature of sound, expectations, structural integration, and cognitive sequencing are central in music perception (i.e., which sounds are most likely to come next and at what moment should they occur?). This paper focuses on similarities in music and language cognition research, showing that music (...) cognition research provides insight into the understanding of not only music processing but also language processing and the processing of other structured stimuli. The hypothesis of shared resources between music and language processing and of domain-general dynamic attention has motivated the development of research to test music as a means to stimulate sensory, cognitive, and motor processes. (shrink)
Current orthodoxy in the philosophy of perception views indirect realism as misguided, wrongheaded or simply outdated. The reasons for its pariah status are variegated. Although it is surely not unreasonable to speculate that philosophical fashion is one factor that contributes to this situation, there are also solid philosophical arguments which put pressure on the indirect realist position. In this paper, I will discuss one such main objection and show how the indirect realist can face it. The upshot will be a (...) defence of a new structural account of indirect realism which is immune to a number of objections that have been traditionally levelled at such theories of perceptual consciousness. (shrink)
This study provides an additional partial test of the Hunt–Vitell theory [1986, Journal of Macromarketing, 8, 5–16; 1993, ‘The General Theory of Marketing Ethics: A Retrospective and Revision’, in N. C. Smith and J. A. Quelch (eds.), Ethics in Marketing (Irwin Inc., Homewood), pp. 775–784], within the consumer ethics context. Using structural equation modeling, the relationships among an individual’s personal values (conceptualized by the typology of Schwartz [1992, ‘Universals in the Content and Structure of Values: Theoretical Advances (...) and Empirical Tests in 20 Countries’, in M. P. Zanna (ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 25, Academic Press, Orlando), pp. 1–65] ethical ideology and ethical beliefs are investigated. The validity of the model is assessed in a two-step procedure. First, a measurement model of constructs is tested for key validity dimensions. Next, the hypothesized causal relationships are examined in several path models, comparing no mediation, partial and complete mediation of ethical ideology. The empirical results indicate that individual differences in value priorities (resultant conservation and resultant self-enhancement) directly and indirectly (through idealism) influence the judgment of ethically questionable consumer practices. These findings may significantly contribute to the theoretical understanding of ethical decision-making. (shrink)