The Problem of Trope Individuation: A Reply to Lowe

Erkenntnis 79 (1):65-79 (2014)
Authors
Markku Keinänen
University of Tampere
Jani Hakkarainen
University of Tampere
Abstract
This paper is the first trope-theoretical reply to E. J. Lowe’s serious dilemma against trope nominalism in print. The first horn of this dilemma is that if tropes are identity dependent on substances, a vicious circularity threatens trope theories because they must admit that substances are identity dependent on their constituent tropes. According to the second horn, if the trope theorist claims that tropes are identity independent, she faces two insurmountable difficulties. (1) It is hard to understand the ontological dependence of tropes on substances. (2) The identity-conditions of tropes cannot be determinate, which threatens the determination of the identity-conditions of substances. Our reply to the first horn of Lowe’s dilemma is to deny the identity dependence of tropes. Yet we can avoid the second horn because our theory can explain the ontological dependence of tropes on substances and the fully-determined identity-conditions of both tropes and substances.
Keywords metaphysics  tropes  identity  properties  individuation
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9459-y
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References found in this work BETA

Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Citations of this work BETA

Instantiation and Characterization: Problems in Lowe's Four-Category Ontology.Markku Keinänen - 2018 - In Timothy Tambassi (ed.), Studies in the Ontology of E.J. Lowe. Neunkirchen-Seelscheid: Editiones Scholasticae. pp. 109-124.
Instantiation in Trope Theory.A. R. J. Fisher - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2):153-164.
A Trope Nominalist Theory of Natural Kinds.Markku Keinänen - 2015 - In Ghislain Guigon & Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (eds.), Nominalism about Properties. Routledge. pp. 156-174.

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