In recent publications, there has been something of an emerging debate about the relationship between powers ontology and current accounts of time. It seems that if powers ontology is to have bearing on contemporary metaphysical accounts of time, some work needs to be done to show how powers ontology might overcome the apparent contradictions that have arisen in this emerging debate. One avenue to pursue is to test out the possibility of wresting a powers temporal ontology out of a re-reading (...) of Aristotle’s account of time with a specific focus on his account of motion and potency. This article will make an effort to make some headway here. (shrink)
Contemporary metaphysics has undergone a change of perspective due to the irruption of Grounding in discussions of metaphysical dependence. Proponents argue that Grounding is the primitive relationship of determination underlying many of the traditionally posited idioms of metaphysical dependence. In a recent line of scepticism Jessica Wilson has argued that the inability of the notion to be informatively effective regarding substantial matters of metaphysical determination renders it useless in the face of theoretical work. To supply this lack of informativeness proponents (...) must resort to the already available set of specific ‘small-g’ relations, which renders the formulation of ‘big-G’ Grounding pre-theoretically unmotivated. In response two motivations are said to remain: The priority and unity arguments. Wilson insists that neither of these motivations succeeds in establishing ‘big-G’ Grounding as theoretically useful. I argue that none of Wilson’s critiques succeeds in establishing eliminative scepticism. (shrink)
In Naming and Necessity Kripke introduces the concept of a rigid designator and argues that proper names are rigid designators. He argues that in this way they are different from typical definite descriptions (though he allows that some definite descriptions, e.g., ‘the actual winner of the lottery’, ‘the square of 3’, are rigid designators). His opponents have either argued that names can be regarded as abbreviations of rigid descriptions (e.g., ‘actualized’ ones) or have tried to deny that names are rigid (...) designators. I shall argue that no unambiguous descriptions are non-rigid. All unambiguous descriptions are rigid. The appearance of non-rigidity in descriptions is simply an illusion, a manifestation of ambiguity. I shall then go on to show that an explanation of the difficulty which has been found in extending the rigid/non-rigid distinction from singular terms to predicates follows. (shrink)
I shall refine in this article Jaegwon Kim's theory of events by appealing to modes, i.e., particular properties that also depend on their 'bearers' for their identity. Events will turn out to be occurrent modes, i.e., relational modes having further modes and times as their relata. In Section 1 I shall briefly present Kim's theory and some difficulties that affect it. In Section 2, after having made some preliminary assumptions on modes and universals, I shall introduce occurrent modes. In Section (...) 3 I shall show how my theory can deal with the difficulties discussed in Section 1. (shrink)
The paper proposes a simple method for constructing ontological theories—an ‘ontology generator’. It shows that such a generator manages to produce major existing ontological theories, e.g., Realism, Nominalism, Trope theory, Bundle theory, Perdurantism, Endurantism, Possibilism, Actualism and more. It thus turns out, surprisingly, that all these seemingly unrelated different ontological theories that were designed by thinkers hundreds of years apart, can all be generated using the same simple mechanism. Moreover, this same generator manages to produce entirely novel ontological theories, that (...) fare no worse than existing ones in meeting the same common metaphysical challenges. (shrink)
Kit Fine advanced a remarkable objection to the Modal Account of Essentialism. Fine’s concern is commonly thought to have put the modal account in serious jeopardy. I believe that Fine’s objection is mainly based on two intuitions. As a reaction to Fine’s argument, while many scholars have abandoned the modal account, others have attempted to save it. The main strategy in the last direction consists in adding to the modal criterion a condition that is supposed to hold universally. For different (...) reasons, this strategy ends up rejecting part of the first Fine’s intuition. I believe that a modal contextualist approach to essentialist claims, through the addition of a ‘particularist’ condition to the modal criterion, can provide an interesting alternative for those who wish to maintain a modal approachto essentialism. I will show that this approach, while rejecting the second Finean intuition, is able to account for his first intuition. (shrink)
This paper investigates the prospects of developing a branching modal framework while keeping with the spirit of Humean Supervenience. It is argued that such an approach is bound to face hard problems regarding haecceitism and the notion of recombination. Possible directions for future philosophical developments of branching frameworks are suggested.