Dialectica 66 (1):167-186 (2012)

Authors
Daniel Hill
University of Liverpool
Richard Gaskin
University of Liverpool
Abstract
Is there an explanation of why the state of x's bearing the non-symmetric binary relation R to y is different from its differential opposite, the state of y's bearing R to x? One traditional view has it that the explanation is that non-symmetric relations hold of objects in an essentially directional way, ordering the relevant relata. We call this view ‘directionalism’. Kit Fine has suggested that this approach is subject to significant metaphysical difficulties, sufficient to motivate seeking an alternative analysis. He considers two such alternative explanations, which he labels ‘positionalism’ and ‘anti-positionalism’. Of these he endorses the latter. We argue that anti-positionalism fails to provide a coherent explanation of the distinction between differential opposites, and that one should simply hold the minimalist position that there is no explanation for this metaphysical difference.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2012.01294.x
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References found in this work BETA

Neutral Relations.Kit Fine - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (1):1-33.

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Citations of this work BETA

How Involved Do You Want to Be in a Non-Symmetric Relationship?Fraser MacBride - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):1-16.
Plural Slot Theory.T. Scott Dixon - 2018 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 11. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 193-223.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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