Acta Analytica:1-15 (forthcoming)

Jani Hakkarainen
Tampere University
Markku Keinänen
Tampere University
F. H. Bradley’s relation regress poses a difficult problem for metaphysics of relations. In this paper, we reconstruct this regress argument systematically and make its presuppositions explicit in order to see where the possibility of its solution or resolution lies. We show that it cannot be answered by claiming that it is not vicious. Neither is one of the most promising resolutions, the relata-specific answer adequate in its present form. It attempts to explain adhence (relating), which is a crucial component of the explanandum of Bradley’s relation regress, in terms of specific adherence of a relational trope to its relata. Nevertheless, since we do not know the consequences and constituents of a trope adhering to its specific relata, it remains unclear what specific adherence is. It is left as a constitutively inexplicable primitive. The relata-specific answer only asserts against Bradley. This negative conclusion highlights the need for a metaphysical account of what the holding of adherence consists.
Keywords metaphysics  ontology  relations  Bradley’s regress  tropes   formal ontology
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-022-00516-1
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Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
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