Logical Combinatorialism

Philosophical Review 129 (4):537-589 (2020)
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Abstract

In explaining the notion of a fundamental property or relation, metaphysicians will often draw an analogy with languages. The fundamental properties and relations stand to reality as the primitive predicates and relations stand to a language: the smallest set of vocabulary God would need in order to write the “book of the world.” This paper attempts to make good on this metaphor. To that end, a modality is introduced that, put informally, stands to propositions as logical truth stands to sentences. The resulting theory, formulated in higher-order logic, also vindicates the Humean idea that fundamental properties and relations are freely recombinable and a variant of the structural idea that propositions can be decomposed into their fundamental constituents via logical operations. Indeed, it is seen that, although these ideas are seemingly distinct, they are not independent, and fall out of a natural and general theory about the granularity of reality.

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Author's Profile

Andrew Bacon
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

Higher‐Order Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (10):1-11.
Logic Talk.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13661-13688.
A Theory of Necessities.Andrew Bacon & Jin Zeng - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (1):151-199.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Outline of a Theory of Truth.Saul Kripke - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):690-716.
To Be F Is To Be G.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134.
Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1922 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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