Material objects and essential bundle theory

Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2969-2986 (2018)
Authors
Mark Jago
Nottingham University
Stephen Barker
Nottingham University
Abstract
In this paper we present a new metaphysical theory of material objects. On our theory, objects are bundles of property instances, where those properties give the nature or essence of that object. We call the theory essential bundle theory. Property possession is not analysed as bundle-membership, as in traditional bundle theories, since accidental properties are not included in the object’s bundle. We have a different story to tell about accidental property possession. This move reaps many benefits. Essential bundle theory delivers a simple theory of the essential properties of material objects; an explanation of how object coincidence can arise; an actual-world ground for modal differences between coincident objects; a simple story about intrinsic properties; and a plausible account of certain ubiquitous cases of causal overdetermination.
Keywords Ontology  Material objects  Bundle theory  Essence  Nature
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0990-6
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