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New Work For a Theory of Universals

In D. H. Mellor & Alex Oliver (eds.), Properties. Oxford University Press (1997)

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  1. Property Theories.George Bealer & Uwe Mönnich - 1989 - In Dov Gabbay & Franz Guenthner (eds.), Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Volume IV. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 133-251.
    Revised and reprinted in Handbook of Philosophical Logic, volume 10, Dov Gabbay and Frans Guenthner (eds.), Dordrecht: Kluwer, (2003). -- Two sorts of property theory are distinguished, those dealing with intensional contexts property abstracts (infinitive and gerundive phrases) and proposition abstracts (‘that’-clauses) and those dealing with predication (or instantiation) relations. The first is deemed to be epistemologically more primary, for “the argument from intensional logic” is perhaps the best argument for the existence of properties. This argument is presented in the (...)
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  • On Scientific Method As a Method for Testing the Legitimacy of Concepts.Abraham D. Stone - unknown
    Traditional attempts to delineate the distinctive rationality of modern science have taken it for granted that the purpose of empirical research is to test judgments. The choice of concepts to use in those judgments is therefore seen either a matter of indifference (Popper) or as important choice which must be made, so to speak, in advance of all empirical research (Carnap). I argue that scientific method aims precisely at empirical testing of concepts, and that even the simplest scientific ex- periment (...)
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  • On Scientific Method, Induction, Statistics, and Skepticism.Abraham D. Stone - unknown
    My aim in this paper is to explain how universal statements, as they occur in scientific theories, are actually tested by observational evidence, and to draw certain conclusions, on that basis, about the way in which scientific theories are tested in general. 1 But I am pursuing that aim, ambitious enough in and of itself, in the service of even more ambitious projects, and in the first place: (a) to say what is distinctive about modern science, and especially modern physical (...)
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  • Theoretical Identities May Not Be Necessary.Alik Pelman - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):412-422.
    Following insights from the New Theory of Reference, it has become widely accepted that theoretical identities like ‘water = H2O' are necessary. However, some have challenged this claim. I propose yet another challenge in the form of a sceptical argument. The argument is based on the contention that the necessity of theoretical identities is dependent upon criteria of identity. Thus, a theoretical identity is necessary given one criterion of identity but contingent given another. Since we do not know which criteria (...)
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  • Antireductionism and Ordinals.Beau Madison Mount - 2019 - Philosophia Mathematica 27 (1):105-124.
    I develop a novel argument against the claim that ordinals are sets. In contrast to Benacerraf’s antireductionist argument, I make no use of covert epistemic assumptions. Instead, my argument uses considerations of ontological dependence. I draw on the datum that sets depend immediately and asymmetrically on their elements and argue that this datum is incompatible with reductionism, given plausible assumptions about the dependence profile of ordinals. In addition, I show that a structurally similar argument can be made against the claim (...)
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  • Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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  • The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
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  • Psa 2018.Philsci-Archive -Preprint Volume- - unknown
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2018.
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  • The Proportionality of Common Sense Causal Claims.Jennifer McDonald - unknown
    This paper defends strong proportionality against what I take to be its principal objection – that proportionality fails to preserve common sense causal intuitions – by articulating independently plausible constraints on how to represent causal situations. I first assume an interventionist formulation of proportionality, following Woodward. This views proportionality as a relational constraint on variable selection in causal modeling that requires that changes in the cause variable line up with those in the effect variable. I then argue that the principal (...)
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  • Reading the Book of the World.Thomas Donaldson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1051-1077.
    In Writing the Book of the World, Ted Sider argues that David Lewis’s distinction between those predicates which are ‘perfectly natural’ and those which are not can be extended so that it applies to words of all semantic types. Just as there are perfectly natural predicates, there may be perfectly natural connectives, operators, singular terms and so on. According to Sider, one of our goals as metaphysicians should be to identify the perfectly natural words. Sider claims that there is a (...)
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  • Mereology, Modality and Magic.Katherine Hawley - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):117 – 133.
    If the property _being a methane molecule_ is a universal, then it is a structural universal: objects instantiate _being a methane molecule_ just in case they have the right sorts of proper parts arranged in the right sort of way. Lewis argued that there can be no satisfactory account of structural universals; in this paper I provide a satisfactory account.
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  • Pragmatism, Joint-Carving, and Ontology.K. Mitchell - 2014 - The Monist 97 (4):571-591.
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  • Supervenience Relations and Their Significance.Richard Cranston Paull - 1994 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Supervenience is the impossibility of independent variation. A crude statement of supervenience would be the claim that things cannot differ in some respect without differing in some other respect. For example, to say that the mental supervenes on the physical is to say that there cannot be mental differences without physical differences. ;The basic idea behind supervenience can be developed in a number of ways. My dissertation contains a detailed study of the different supervenience relations found in the literature. I (...)
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  • X- The Mereology of Representation.Jessica Leech - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (2):205-228.
    Mental representations—like many other things—seem to have parts. However, it isn’t clear how to properly understand the idea of a part of a representation. In this paper I shed new light on how representations can have a mereology. In particular, it has been recognized that there is a mereological element to Kant’s distinction between two kinds of representations: intuitions and concepts. A concept depends upon its parts, whereas an intuition is prior to its parts. The paper thus focuses on an (...)
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  • L’hypothèse d’une causalité sans lois : Bergson dans le débat contemporain sur la free will.Joël Dolbeault - 2016 - Philosophiques 43 (2):317-341.
    Joël Dolbeault | : D’abord, nous expliquons comment Bergson caractérise la liberté, et pourquoi celle-ci s’oppose à la fois au déterminisme et au hasard. Ensuite, nous montrons que la théorie bergsonienne de la liberté repose principalement sur l’idée que les états psychiques ne sont pas les occurrences de certains types, ce qui conduit à penser que leur apparition n’est pas gouvernée par l’action de lois. L’acte libre est causé par un sujet empirique, mais cette causalité n’est pas gouvernée par des (...)
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  • In Defense of Quine’s Ostrich Nominalism.Guido Imaguire - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 89 (1):185-203.
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  • Dynamic Humeanism.Michael Townsen Hicks - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):983-1007.
    Humean accounts of laws of nature fail to distinguish between dynamic laws and static initial conditions. But this distinction plays a central role in scientific theorizing and explanation. I motivate the claim that this distinction should matter for the Humean, and show that current views lack the resources to explain it. I then develop a regularity theory that captures this distinction. My view takes empirical accessibility to be one of the primary features of laws, and I identify features laws must (...)
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  • Neo-Naturalism, Conciliatory Explanations, and Spatiotemporal Surprises.Uziel Awret - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    Some materialists believe that physics is rich enough to bridge Levine's Explanatory Gap1, while others believe that it is not. Here I promote an intermediate position holding that physics is rich enough to explain why this gap seems more intractable than similar inter-theoretic explanatory gaps, without providing a full-blown “physical” explanation of consciousness. At a minimum, such an approach needs to explore the prospects of empirical discoveries that can diminish the power of anti-physicalist arguments like Chalmers's “conceivability argument”2 and Jackson's (...)
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  • Genuine Violations of Laws.Tobias Wilsch - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    Could laws of nature be violated, in the sense that some proposition is both a law and false? I argue that opponents of regularity theories of laws should accept the metaphysical possibility of such genuine violations. I begin with a clarification of this claim. The main argument is then developed in three steps. I first argue that opponents of regularity theory should endorse the modal-essence view: certain modal principles are essential to the laws of nature. Second, I argue that the (...)
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  • Properties.Jessica Leech - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (4):439-442.
    A book review of "Properties" by Douglas Edwards (Polity Press, 2014).
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  • Ostrich Nominalism and Peacock Realism: A Hegelian Critique of Quine.Paul Giladi - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (5):734-751.
    My aim in this paper is to offer a Hegelian critique of Quine’s predicate nominalism. I argue that at the core of Hegel’s idealism is not a supernaturalist spirit monism, but a realism about universals, and that while this may contrast to the nominalist naturalism of Quine, Hegel’s position can still be defended over that nominalism in naturalistic terms. I focus on the contrast between Hegel’s and Quine’s respective views on universals, which Quine takes to be definitive of philosophical naturalism. (...)
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  • How Involved Do You Want to Be in a Non-Symmetric Relationship?Fraser MacBride - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):1-16.
    There are three different degrees to which we may allow a systematic theory of the world to embrace the idea of relatedness?supposing realism about non-symmetric relations as a background requirement. (First Degree) There are multiple ways in which a non-symmetric relation may apply to the things it relates?for the binary case, aRb ? bRa. (Second Degree) Every such relation has a distinct converse?for every R such that aRb there is another relation R* such that bR*a. (Third Degree) Each one of (...)
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  • From Combinatorialism to Primitivism.Jennifer Wang - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):535-554.
    Many are reluctant to accept primitive modality into their fundamental picture of the world. The worry often traces to this thought: we shouldn't adopt any more primitive - that is, unexplained - notions than we need in order to explain all the features of the world, and primitive modal notions are not needed. I examine one prominent rival to modal primitivism, combinatorialism, and show that in order to account for all the modal features of the world the combinatorialist must adopt (...)
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  • Against Quidditism.Robert Black - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (1):87 – 104.
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  • The Concrete Modal Realist Challenge to Platonism.Matthew McGrath - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4):587 – 610.
  • A Case for Extrinsic Dispositions.J. McKitrick - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):155 – 174.
    Many philosophers think that dispositions are necessarily intrinsic. However, there are no good positive arguments for this view. Furthermore, many properties (such as weight, visibility, and vulnerability) are dispositional but are not necessarily shared by perfect duplicates. So, some dispositions are extrinsic. I consider three main objections to the possibility of extrinsic dispositions: the Objection from Relationally Specified Properties, the Objection from Underlying Intrinsic Properties, and the Objection from Natural Properties. These objections ultimately fail.
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  • Paradigms and Russell's Resemblance Regress.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (4):644 – 651.
    Resemblance Nominalism is the view that denies universals and tropes and claims that what makes F-things F is their resemblances. A famous argument against Resemblance Nominalism is Russell's regress of resemblances, according to which the resemblance nominalist falls into a vicious infinite regress. Aristocratic Resemblance Nominalism, as opposed to Egalitarian Resemblance Nominalism, is the version of Resemblance Nominalism that claims that what makes F-things F is that they resemble the F-paradigms. In this paper I attempt to show that a recently (...)
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  • The Dretske–Tooley–Armstrong Theory of Natural Laws and the Inference Problem.Joan Page`S. - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):227-243.
    In this article I intend to show that the inference problem, one of the main objections raised against the anti-Humean theory of natural laws defended by Dretske, Tooley and Armstrong (?DTA theory? for short), can be successfully answered. First, I argue that a proper solution should meet two essential requirements that the proposals made by the DTA theorists do not satisfy. Then I state a solution to the inference problem that assumes a local immanentistic view of universals, a partial definition (...)
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  • Structure-Making.Kris McDaniel - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):251-274.
    Friends of states of affairs and structural universals 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? structural universals 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 (...)
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  • Emergentism and Supervenience Physicalism.Robert J. Howell - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):83 – 98.
    A purely metaphysical formulation of physicalism is surprisingly elusive. One popular slogan is, 'There is nothing over and above the physical'. Problems with this arise on two fronts. First, it is difficult to explain what makes a property 'physical' without appealing to the methodology of physics or to particular ways in which properties are known. This obviously introduces epistemic features into the core of a metaphysical issue. Second, it is difficult to cash out 'over-and-aboveness' in a way that is rigorous, (...)
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  • A Mereological Characterization of Physicalism.David Pineda - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):243 – 266.
    Physicalism is usually understood as the claim that every empirical entity is or is determined by physical entities. The claim is however imprecise until it is clarified what are the physical entities in question. A sceptical argument in the form of a dilemma tries to show that this problem of formulation of physicalism cannot be adequately met. If we understand physical entities as the entities introduced by current physics, the resulting claim becomes most probably false. If we instead understand physical (...)
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