In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag (2013)

Olivier Massin
Université de Neuchâtel
Ingvar Johansson has argued that there are not only determinate universals, but also determinable ones. I here argue that this view is misguided by reviving a line of argument to the following effect: what makes determinates falling under a same determinable similar cannot be distinct from what makes them different. If true, some similarities — imperfect similarities between simple determinate properties — are not grounded in any kind of property-sharing. I suggest that determinables are better understood as maximal disjunctions of brutely and imperfectly similar determinates. Such brute similarities have been thought to clash with realism about universals. I argue that this worry stems from the mistaken assumption that perfect and imperfect similarities are relations of a same kind. If exact and inexact resemblances are distinct and heterogeneous explananda, the realist about universals might explain the first thanks to property-sharing, while happily leaving imperfect similarities between properties unexplained.
Keywords Determinables  Determinates  Resemblance  Similarity  dissimilarity  universals
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References found in this work BETA

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
From an Ontological Point of View.John Heil - 2003 - Philosophy 79 (309):491-494.

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