Axiomathes 15 (4):487-512 (2005)
In this paper I argue that there are in fact external relations in Russell’s sense. The level at which we are forced to acknowledge them is, however, not the level of relations between concrete individual objects. All relations of this kind, which I will call “inter-individual” relations, can be construed as supervenient on the monadic properties of their terms. But if we pursue our ontological analysis a little bit deeper and consider the internal structure of a concrete individual, then we will inevitably find irreducible external relations. I mean for example the relation of instantiation (in the frame of a realist’s theory) or that of concurrence (in the frame of a trope theory). I will show that such “intra-individual” relations – the relations that make up the internal structure of a concrete individual out of more primitive metaphysical “building blocks” like universals or tropes – could not (even in principle) be construed as supervenient.
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