Determinates and Determinables

Edited by Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto, St. George Campus, University of Toronto at Scarborough)
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  1. The Determinable–Determinate Relation Can’T Save Adverbialism.Grzankowski Alex & Alex Grzankowski - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):45-52.
    Adverbialist theories of thought such as those advanced by Hare and Sellars promise an ontologically sleek understanding of a variety of intentional states, but such theories have been largely abandoned due to the ‘many-property problem’. In an attempt to revitalize this otherwise attractive theory, in a series of papers as well as his recent book, Uriah Kriegel has offered a novel reply to the ‘many-property problem’ and on its basis he argues that ‘adverbialism about intentionality is alive and well’. If (...)
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  2. Review: Arthur N. Prior, Determinables, Determinates and Determinants. [REVIEW]Charles A. Baylis - 1950 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 15 (2):147-148.
  3. Realization, Determination and Mental Causation.Agustín Vicente Benito - 2001 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 16 (40):77-94.
    The by now famous exclusion problem for mental causation admits only one possible solution, as far as I can see, namely: that mental and physical properties are linked by a vertical relation. In this paper, starting from what I take to be sensible premises about properties, I will be visiting some general relations between them, in order to see whether, first, it is true that some vertical relationship, other than identity, makes different sorts of causation compatible and second, whether physical (...)
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  4. Two Problems for Proportionality About Omissions.Sara Bernstein - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (3):429-441.
    Theories of causation grounded in counterfactual dependence face the problem of profligate omissions: numerous irrelevant omissions count as causes of an outcome. A recent purported solution to this problem is proportionality, which selects one omission among many candidates as the cause of an outcome. This paper argues that proportionality cannot solve the problem of profligate omissions for two reasons. First: the determinate/determinable relationship that holds between properties like aqua and blue does not hold between negative properties like not aqua and (...)
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  5. Is There a Humean Account of Quantities?Phillip Bricker - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):26-51.
    Humeans have a problem with quantities. A core principle of any Humean account of modality is that fundamental entities can freely recombine. But determinate quantities, if fundamental, seem to violate this core principle: determinate quantities belonging to the same determinable necessarily exclude one another. Call this the problem of exclusion. Prominent Humeans have responded in various ways. Wittgenstein, when he resurfaced to philosophy, gave the problem of exclusion as a reason to abandon the logical atomism of the Tractatus with its (...)
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  6. Interference, Noncommutativity, and Determinateness in Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey Bub - 1995 - Topoi 14 (1):39-43.
    I consider to what extent the phenomenon of interference precludes the possibility of attributing simultaneously determinate values to noncommuting observables, and I show that, while all observables can in principle be taken as simultaneously determinate, it suffices to take a suitable privileged observable as determinate to solve the measurement problem.
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  7. Quantum Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-29.
    On many currently live interpretations, quantum mechanics violates the classical supposition of value definiteness, according to which the properties of a given particle or system have precise values at all times. Here we consider whether either metaphysical supervaluationist or determinable-based approaches to metaphysical indeterminacy can accommodate quantum metaphysical indeterminacy (QMI). We start by discussing the standard theoretical indicator of QMI, and distinguishing three seemingly different sources of QMI (S1). We then show that previous arguments for the conclusion that metaphysical supervaluationism (...)
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  8. Determinable Properties and Overdetermination of Causal Powers.Jonas Christensen - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):695-711.
    Do determinable properties such as colour, mass, and height exist in addition to their corresponding determinates, being red, having a mass of 1 kilogram, and having a height of 2 metres? Optimists say yes, pessimists say no. Among the latter are Carl Gillett and Bradley Rives who argue that optimism leads to systematic overdetermination of causal powers and hence should be rejected on the grounds that the position is ontologically unparsimonious. In this paper I defend optimism against this charge by (...)
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  9. Causation and Determinable Properties : On the Efficacy of Colour, Shape, and Size.Tim Crane - 2008 - In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 176-195.
    This paper presents a puzzle or antinomy about the role of properties in causation. In theories of properties, a distinction is often made between determinable properties, like red, and their determinates, like scarlet (see Armstrong 1978, volume II). Sometimes determinable properties are cited in causal explanations, as when we say that someone stopped at the traffic light because it was red. If we accept that properties can be among the relata of causation, then it can be argued that there are (...)
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  10. Review of Joshua Gert, "Primitive Colors". [REVIEW]Nicholas Danne - 2018 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 22 (31).
    Good book. See my review's final paragraph for a space alien conspiracy theory in defense of reflectance physicalism, against Gert's attack.
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  11. Determinable Nominalism.David A. Denby - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 102 (3):297--327.
    I present, motivate, and defend a theory of properties. Its novel feature is that it takes entire determinables-together-with-their-determinates as its units of analysis. This, I argue, captures the relations of entailment and exclusion among properties, solves the problem of extensionality, and points the way towards an actualist analysis of modality.
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  12. Mental Causation, Determinables, and Property Instances.Douglas Ehring - 1996 - Noûs 30 (4):461-80.
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  13. Realism and Determinable Properties.Crawford L. Elder - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):149-159.
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  14. An Abstract Characterization of the Determinate/Determinable Distinction.Kit Fine - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):161-187.
  15. Varieties of Things: Foundations of Contemporary Metaphysics—Cynthia MacDonald. [REVIEW]Bryan Frances - 2007 - International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (3):380-382.
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  16. Uninstantiated Properties and Semi-Platonist Aristotelianism.James Franklin - 2015 - Review of Metaphysics 69 (1):25-45.
    Once the reality of properties is admitted, there are two fundamentally different realist theories of properties. Platonist or transcendent realism holds that properties are abstract objects in the classical sense, of being nonmental, nonspatial, and causally inefficacious. By contrast, Aristotelian or moderate realism takes properties to be literally instantiated in things. An apple’s color and shape are as real and physical as the apple itself. The most direct reason for taking an Aristotelian realist view of properties is that we perceive (...)
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  17. The Determinable-Determinate Relation.Eric Funkhouser - 2006 - Noûs 40 (3):548–569.
    The properties colored and red stand in a special relation. Namely, red is a determinate of colored, and colored is determinable relative to red. Many other properties are similarly related. The determination relation is an interesting topic of logical investigation in its own right, and the prominent philosophical inquiries into this relation have, accordingly, operated at a high level of abstraction.1 It is time to return to these investigations, not just as a logical amusement, but for the payoffs such investigation (...)
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  18. The Nonexistence of Determinables: Or, a World of Absolute Determinates as Default Hypothesis.Carl Gillett & Bradley Rives - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):483–504.
    An electron clearly has the property of having a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs, but does it also have the property of being charged ? Philosophers have worried whether so-called ‘determinable’ predicates, such as ‘is charged’, actually refer to determinable properties in the way they are happy to say that determinate predicates, such as ‘has a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs’, refer to determinate properties. The distinction between determinates and determinables is itself fairly new, dating only to its (...)
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  19. Against Quantum Indeterminacy.David Glick - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):204-213.
    A growing literature is premised on the claim that quantum mechanics provides evidence for metaphysical indeterminacy. But does it? None of the currently fashionable realist interpretations involve fundamental indeterminacy and the ‘standard interpretation’, to the extent that it can be made out, doesn't require indeterminacy either.
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  20. Supervenience, Determination, and Dependency.Thomas R. Grimes - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 62 (April):81-92.
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  21. Resolving the Emergence-Reduction Debate.Rom Harré - 2006 - Synthese 151 (3):499-509.
    The debate between emergentists and reductionists rests on the observation that in many situations, in which it seems desirable to work with a coherent and unified discourse, key predicates fall into different groups, such that pairs of members one taken from each group, cannot be co-predicated of some common subject. Must we settle for ‘island’ discourses in science and human affairs or is some route to a unified discourse still open? To make progress towards resolving the issue the conditions under (...)
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  22. Realization, Determination, and Mechanisms.Matthew C. Haug - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (3):313-330.
    Several philosophers (e.g., Ehring (Nous (Detroit, Mich.) 30:461–480, 1996 ); Funkhouser (Nous (Detroit, Mich.) 40:548–569, 2006 ); Walter (Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37:217–244, 2007 ) have argued that there are metaphysical differences between the determinable-determinate relation and the realization relation between mental and physical properties. Others have challenged this claim (e.g., Wilson (Philosophical Studies, 2009 ). In this paper, I argue that there are indeed such differences and propose a “mechanistic” account of realization that elucidates why these differences hold. This (...)
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  23. Determinables and Determinates.Wilson M. Jessica - 2017 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is a comprehensive discussion of determinables, determinates, and their relation ('determination', for short), covering the historical development of these notions, the theoretical options for understanding them, and certain of their contemporary applications.
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  24. Trooppiteoriat ja relaatiossa olemisen analyysi.Markku Keinänen - forthcoming - Ajatus 75.
    Trope theories aim to eschew the primitive dichotomy between characterising (properties, relations) and characterized entities (objects). This article (in Finnish) presents a new trope theoretical analysis of relational inherence as the best way out of the impasse created by the alleged necessity to choose between an eliminativist and a primitivist ("relata-specific") view about relations in trope theory.
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  25. Quantity Tropes and Internal Relations.Markku Keinänen, Antti Keskinen & Jani Hakkarainen - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    In this article, we present a new conception of internal relations between quantity tropes falling under determinates and determinables. We begin by providing a novel characterization of the necessary relations between these tropes as basic internal relations. The core ideas here are that the existence of the relata is sufficient for their being internally related, and that their being related does not require the existence of any specific entities distinct from the relata. We argue that quantity tropes are, as determinate (...)
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  26. What Are Quantities?Joongol Kim - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):792-807.
    ABSTRACTThis paper presents a view of quantities as ‘adverbial’ entities of a certain kind—more specifically, determinate ways, or modes, of having length, mass, speed, and the like. In doing so, it will be argued that quantities as such should be distinguished from quantitative properties or relations, and are not universals but are particulars, although they are not objects, either. A main advantage of the adverbial view over its rivals will be found in its superior explanatory power with respect to both (...)
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  27. The Determinate-Indeterminate Distinction and Kants Theory of Judgment.Seung-Kee Lee - 2004 - Kant-Studien 95 (2):204-225.
  28. Mental Causes and Explanation of Action.Cynthia Macdonald & Graham F. Macdonald - 1986 - Philosophical Quarterly 36 (April):145-58.
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  29. Determinables and Brute Similarities.Olivier Massin - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Ontos Verlag.
    Ingvar Johansson has argued that there are not only determinate universals, but also determinable ones. I here argue that this view is misguided by reviving a line of argument to the following effect: what makes determinates falling under a same determinable similar cannot be distinct from what makes them different. If true, some similarities — imperfect similarities between simple determinate properties — are not grounded in any kind of property-sharing. I suggest that determinables are better understood as maximal disjunctions of (...)
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  30. The Determinate and Determinable Modes of Appearing.Charles M. Myers - 1958 - Mind 67 (265):32-49.
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  31. Blur and Perceptual Content.Bence Nanay - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):254-260.
    Intentionalism about visual experiences is the view according to which the phenomenal character of a visual experience supervenes on the content of this experience. One of the most influential objections to this view is about blur: seeing a fuzzy contour clearly and seeing a sharp contour blurrily have different phenomenal character but the same content. I argue that this objection does not work if we understand perceptual content simply, and not particularly controversially, as partly constituted by the sum total of (...)
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  32. Natural Properties and Bottomless Determination.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Americal Philosophical Quarterly 51:215-226.
    It is widely held that some properties are more natural than others and that, as David Lewis put it, “an adequate theory of properties is one that recognises an objective difference between natural and unnatural properties” (Lewis 1983, p. 347). The general line of thought is that such ‘elitism’ about properties is justified as it can give simple and elegant solutions to a number of old metaphysical and philosophical problems. My aim is to analyze what these natural properties are: super-determinates (...)
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  33. Bayes or Determinables? What Does the Bidirectional Hierarchical Model of Brain Functions Tell Us About the Nature of Perceptual Representation?Bence Nanay - 2012 - Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 3.
    The focus of this commentary is what Andy Clark takes to be the most groundbreaking of the philosophical import of the ‘bidirectional hierarchical model of brain functions’, namely, the claim that perceptual representations represent probabilities. This is what makes his account Bayesian and this is a philosophical or theoretical conclusion that neuroscientists and psychologists are also quick and happy to draw. My claim is that nothing in the ‘bidirectional hierarchical models of brain functions’ implies that perceptual representations are probabilistic, or (...)
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  34. W. E. Johnson's Determinable-Determinate Opposition and His Theory of Abstraction.Roberto Poli - 2004 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 82 (1):163-196.
    A reconstruction of Johnson's main contributions to philosophy is provided. Johnson's theories are grounded on his distinction between "substantives" and "adjectives", which governs the oppositions between (1) particular and universal, (2) determinandum and determinans in thought, (3) acts of separation and discrimination, (4) subject and predicate, (5) thing and quality, (6) substance and determination, (7) proposition and fact, (8) external and internal relations, (9) extension and intension. While substantives divide between continuants and occurrents, adjectives are fundamentally distinguishable into determinables and (...)
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  35. Determinables, Determinates and Determinants.Arthur N. Prior - 1949 - Mind 58 (229):1-20.
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  36. Determinables, Determinates and Determinants (II).Arthur N. Prior - 1949 - Mind 58 (230):178-194.
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  37. A Study of the Determinable - Determinate Relation.Jay Frank Rosenberg - 1966 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
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  38. The Strength of Relationships.Said Saillant - 2010 - Stance 3:33-38.
    I endeavor to show that Descartes’ attribute-mode distinction cannot be characterized in terms of the determinable-determinate relation. I identify the latter’s formal and modal properties in order to determine whether the former shares them, which ultimately shows distinctness. I then indicate which property accounts for the differences. I conclude that the relation that unites modes under an attribute is weaker than that which groups determinates under some determinable, respectively, the relations of inherence and incompatibility.
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  39. Determinates Vs. Determinables.David H. Sanford - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Everything red is colored, and all squares are polygons. A square is distinguished from other polygons by being four-sided, equilateral, and equiangular. What distinguishes red things from other colored things? This has been understood as a conceptual rather than scientific question. Theories of wavelengths and reflectance and sensory processing are not considered. Given just our ordinary understanding of color, it seems that what differentiates red from other colors is only redness itself. The Cambridge logician W. E. Johnson introduced the terms (...)
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  40. Can Determinable Properties Earn Their Keep?Robert Schroer - 2011 - Synthese 183 (2):229-247.
    Sydney Shoemaker's "Subset Account" offers a new take on determinable properties and the realization relation as well as a defense of non-reductive physicalism from the problem of mental causation. At the heart of this account are the claims that (1) mental properties are determinable properties and (2) the causal powers that individuate a determinable property are a proper subset of the causal powers that individuate the determinates of that property. The second claim, however, has led to the accusation that the (...)
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  41. Bottomless Determination: How Yablo Can Get Proportionality From Gunk.R. Sorensen - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):627-630.
    Consider the beginningless sequence: ... being less than 0.01 grams, being less than 0.1 grams, being less than 1 gram, being less than 10 grams ... There is no super-determinate in this chain. Just as the possibility of bottomless constitution shows that there may be no fundamental layer of reality with respect to objects , the possibility of bottomless determination shows that there may be no fundamental level of reality with respect to properties . This possibility supports Stephen Yablo's proportionality (...)
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  42. Through Thick and Thin: Good and its Determinates.Christine Tappolet - 2004 - Dialectica 58 (2):207–221.
    What is the relation between the concept good and more specific or ‘thick’ concepts such as admirable or courageous? I argue that good or more precisely good pro tanto is a general concept, but that the relation between good pro tanto and the more specific concepts is not that of a genus to its species. The relation of an important class of specific evaluative concepts, which I call ‘affective concepts’, to good pro tanto is better understood as one between a (...)
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  43. Determinate Values for Quantum Observables.Roderich Tumulka - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):355 - 360.
    This is a comment on J. A. Barrett's article 'The Preferred-Basis Problem and the Quantum Mechanics of Everything' ([2005]), which concerns theories postulating that certain quantum observables have determinate values, corresponding to additional (often called 'hidden') variables. I point out that it is far from clear, for most observables, what such a postulate is supposed to mean, unless the postulated additional variable is related to a clear ontology in space-time, such as particle world lines, string world sheets, or fields.
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  44. Armstrong on Determinable and Substantival Universals.Martin Tweedale - 1984 - In Radu J. Bogdan (ed.), D. M. Armstrong. D. Reidel. pp. 171-89.
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  45. Realization, Determination and Mental Causation.Agustín Vincente - 2001 - Theoria 16 (40):77-94.
    The by now famous exclusion problem for mental causation admits only one possible solution, as far as I can see, namely: that mental and physical properties are linked by a vertical relation. In this paper, starting from what I take to be sensible premises about properties, I will be visiting some general relations between them, in order to see whether, first, it is true that some vertical relation, other than identity, makes different sorts of causation compatible and second, whether physical (...)
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  46. Determinables, Determinates, and Causal Relevance.Sven Walter - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):217-244.
  47. Are There Indeterminate States of Affairs? Yes.Jessica M. Wilson - forthcoming - In Elizabeth Barnes (ed.), Current Controversies in Metaphysics. Taylor & Francis.
    Here I compare two accounts of metaphysical indeterminacy (MI): first, the 'meta-level' approach described by Elizabeth Barnes and Ross Cameron in the companion to this paper, on which every state of affairs (SOA) is itself precise/determinate, and MI is a matter of its being indeterminate which determinate SOA obtains; second, my preferred 'object-level' determinable-based approach, on which MI is a matter of its being determinate---or just plain true---that an indeterminate SOA obtains, where an indeterminate SOA is one whose constitutive object (...)
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  48. The Unity and Priority Arguments for Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Basinstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 171-204.
    Grounding, understood as a primitive posit operative in contexts where metaphysical dependence is at issue, is not able on its own to do any substantive work in characterizing or illuminating metaphysical dependence---or so I argue in 'No Work for a Theory of Grounding' (Inquiry, 2014). Such illumination rather requires appeal to specific metaphysical relations---type or token identity, functional realization, the determinable-determinate relation, the mereological part-whole relation, and so on---of the sort typically at issue in these contexts. In that case, why (...)
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  49. A Determinable-Based Account of Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Jessica M. Wilson - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):359–385.
    Many phenomena appear to be indeterminate, including material macro-object boundaries, predicates or properties admitting of borderline cases, and certain open future claims. Here I provide an account of indeterminacy in metaphysical, rather than semantic or epistemic, terms. Previous such accounts have been "meta-level" accounts, taking metaphysical indeterminacy (MI) to involve its being indeterminate which of various determinate states of affairs obtain. On my alternative, "object-level" account, MI involves its being determinate (or just plain true) that an indeterminate (less than maximally (...)
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  50. Fundamental Determinables.Jessica M. Wilson - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12.
    Contemporary philosophers commonly suppose that any fundamental entities there may be are maximally determinate. More generally, they commonly suppose that, whether or not there are fundamental entities, any determinable entities there may be are grounded in, hence less fundamental than, more determinate entities. So, for example, Armstrong takes the physical objects constituting the presumed fundamental base to be “determinate in all respects” (1961, 59), and Lewis takes the properties characterizing things “completely and without redundancy” to be “highly specific” (1986, 60). (...)
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