Lowe’s Eliminativism about Relations and the Analysis of Relational Inherence

In Jonathan Lowe and Ontology. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter (forthcoming)

Markku Keinänen
Tampere University
Contrary to widely shared opinion in analytic metaphysics, E.J. Lowe argues against the existence of relations in his posthumously published paper There are probably no relations (2016). In this article, I assess Lowe’s eliminativist strategy, which aims to show that all contingent “relational facts” have a monadic foundation in modes characterizing objects. Second, I present two difficult ontological problems supporting eliminativism about relations. Against eliminativism, metaphysicians of science have argued that relations might well be needed in the best a posteriori motivated account of the structure of reality. Finally, I argue that, by analyzing relational inherence, trope theory offers us a completely new approach to relational entities and avoids the hard problems motivating eliminativism.
Keywords relations  relational inherence  modes  eliminativism about relations
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Relations.Fraser MacBride - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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