No Work For a Theory of Universals

In Jonathan Schaffer & Barry Loewer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 116-137 (2015)

Authors
Christopher Meacham
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Maya Eddon
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Abstract
Several variants of Lewis's Best System Account of Lawhood have been proposed that avoid its commitment to perfectly natural properties. There has been little discussion of the relative merits of these proposals, and little discussion of how one might extend this strategy to provide natural property-free variants of Lewis's other accounts, such as his accounts of duplication, intrinsicality, causation, counterfactuals, and reference. We undertake these projects in this paper. We begin by providing a framework for classifying and assessing the variants of the Best System Account. We then evaluate these proposals, and identify the most promising candidates. We go on to develop a proposal for systematically modifying Lewis's other accounts so that they, too, avoid commitment to perfectly natural properties. We conclude by briefly considering a different route one might take to developing natural property-free versions of Lewis's other accounts, drawing on recent work by Williams.
Keywords David Lewis  Laws  Best System Account  Perfectly Natural Properties  Metaphysics  Universals  Natural Properties  Fundamental Properties  Philosophy
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David K. Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
The Metaphysics within Physics.[author unknown] - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (3):610-611.
Naturalness.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2013 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 1.
Epistemic Modals Are Assessment-Sensitive.John MacFarlane - 2011 - In Andy Egan & B. Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Logically Simple Properties and Relations.Jan Plate - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16:1-40.
Naturalistic Moral Realism, Moral Rationalism, and Non-Fundamental Epistemology.Tristram McPherson - forthcoming - In Karen Jones & Francois Schroeter (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms. Oxford University Press.
Causal Powers.Jonathan D. Jacobs (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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