A Critical Introduction to Properties

London, UK: Bloomsbury (2016)
Authors
Sophie R. Allen
Keele University
Abstract
What determines qualitative sameness and difference? This book explores four principal accounts of the ontological basis of properties, including universals, trope theory, resemblance nominalism, and class nominalism, considering the assumptions and ontolological commitments which are required to make each into a plausible account of properties. The latter half of the book investigates the applications of property theory and the different conceptions of properties which might be adopted with these in mind: first, the possibility and desirability of individuating properties, and the distinction between sparse and abundant conceptions of properties; second, the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties; third, the relationship between properties and their causal powers, and whether this is necessary or contingent; fourth, the relationship between properties and causation, modality, and laws of nature; finally, whether properties exist objectively, and if they do, what our epistemic position is with respect to such entities.
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