The bundle theory construes objects as collections of properties (tropes or universals) tied together by a bundling relation, often called "compresence". It opposes to the substratum theory, the view that objects are substrates instantiating properties or having modes. One can distinguish between two interesting debates.First, it can be disputed which of the two views should be preferred. A classical objection against the bundle theory is the objection from change advocated by Van Cleve. He argues that a bundle cannot change its members without becoming another bundle, and thus, another individual. Another interesting problem has to do with the bundling relation: what is it? Is it a primitive sui generis relation, or can it be identified with another relation, already present in one's ontology?
|Key works||Van Cleve put forward his objection in Van Cleve 1985. Possible answers to the first question include a perdurantist strategy: see Benovsky 2008. But, one can also argue that the bundle theory and the substrate theory are metaphysically equivalent, see Benovsky 2008. Regarding the second problem, O’Leary-Hawthorne and Cover (O'Leary-Hawthorne & Cover 1998) substitute to the bundling relation an ontology of state of affairs, in an armstrongian vein, the connection of properties being then assured not by the existence of a bundling relation but by the unity of the state of affairs. Alternatively, L.A. Paul (2002, 2006, forthcoming) argues that the bundling relation should be identified to a restrictivist relation of composition.|
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