Are Properties Particular, Universal, or Neither?

American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2):165-174 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Are properties universal or particular? According to Universalism, properties are universals because there is a certain fundamental tie that makes properties capable of being shareable by more than one thing. On the opposing side, Particularism is the view that properties are particulars due to the existence of a fundamental tie that makes properties incapable of being shared. My aim in this paper is to critically examine the connections between the notions of the fundamental tie and universality and particularity. I argue, first, that universality and particularity can characterize a property if and only if there is a universalist or a particularist fundamental tie, and, second, that it is unclear that these should be the fundamental ties that connect ordinary and scientific properties to their respective bearers. Then I develop an alternative approach to properties and the fundamental tie, which is neutralist because it dispenses with universality and particularity as features of properties, and naturalist because it naturalizes the possession of properties by replacing metaphysical fundamental ties with a scientific one, in particular, a physical process. I show how this approach improves our understanding of properties and instantiation.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,140

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

58 (#205,830)

6 months
1 (#447,993)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Javier Cumpa
Complutense University of Madrid (PhD)

Citations of this work

Resisting easy inferences.Otávio Bueno & Javier Cumpa - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):729-735.
Categories.Javier Cumpa - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1):e12646.
The Neutralist Analysis of Similarity.Javier Cumpa - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):37-47.
Factualism and the Scientific Image.Javier Cumpa - 2018 - Humana Mente 26 (5):669-678.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ontology Made Easy.Amie Lynn Thomasson - 2014 - New York: Oup Usa.

View all 14 references / Add more references