How to Rule Out Disjunctive Properties

Noûs 47 (4):748-766 (2013)
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Abstract

Are there disjunctive properties? This question is important for at least two reasons. First, disjunctive properties are invoked in defense of certain philosophical theories, especially in the philosophy of mind. Second, the question raises the prior issue of what counts as a genuine property, a central concern in the metaphysics of properties. I argue here, on the basis of general considerations in the metaphysics of properties, that there are no disjunctive properties. Specifically, I argue that genuine properties must guarantee similarity-in-a-respect among their instances, and must inhere in their bearers (two notions to be clarified). Disjunctive properties would fail both requirements. I compare the case of disjunctive properties with “mere Cambridge properties,” determinable properties, and functional properties, and show how my conception of properties remains compatible with determinables and functional properties while ruling out disjunctive and mere Cambridge properties

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Paul R. Audi
University of Rochester

Citations of this work

Qualitative properties and relations.Jan Plate - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1297-1322.
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Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1973 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
From an ontological point of view.John Heil - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Truth and truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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