Fundamental Properties of Fundamental Properties

In Karen Bennett Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 8. pp. 78-104 (2013)
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Abstract

Since the publication of David Lewis's ''New Work for a Theory of Universals,'' the distinction between properties that are fundamental – or perfectly natural – and those that are not has become a staple of mainstream metaphysics. Plausible candidates for perfect naturalness include the quantitative properties posited by fundamental physics. This paper argues for two claims: (1) the most satisfying account of quantitative properties employs higher-order relations, and (2) these relations must be perfectly natural, for otherwise the perfectly natural properties cannot play the roles in metaphysical theorizing as envisaged by Lewis.

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Maya Eddon
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Citations of this work

Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Naturalness.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2013 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 1.
A Survey of Logical Realism.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4775-4790.
Ideological parsimony.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3889-3908.
Following logical realism where it leads.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):117-139.

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References found in this work

New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.

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