In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 5--421 (2013)

Anna-Sofia Maurin
University of Gothenburg
According to Johansson (2009: 22) an infinite regress is vicious just in case “what comes first [in the regress-order] is for its definition dependent on what comes afterwards.” Given a few qualifications (to be spelled out below (section 3)), I agree. Again according to Johansson (ibid.), one of the consequences of accepting this way of distinguishing vicious from benign regresses is that the so-called Russellian Resemblance Regress (RRR), if generated in a one-category trope-theoretical framework, is vicious and that, therefore, the existence of tropes only makes sense if trope-theory is understood (minimally) as a two-category theory which accepts, besides the existence of tropes, also the existence of at least one universal: resemblance.1 I disagree. But how can that be? How can Johansson and I agree about what distinguishes a vicious from a benign regress, yet disagree about which regresses are vicious and which are benign? In this paper I attempt to answer that question by first setting out and defending the sense of viciousness which both Johansson and I accept, only to then argue that to be able to determine if a particular regress is vicious in this sense, more than features intrinsic to the regress itself must be taken into account. This is why, although the RRR as originally set out by Russell is vicious, the seemingly identical resemblance regress which ensues in a one-category (standard) trope-theoretical context is not (provided, that is, that we accept certain views about how the nature of tropes relates to the resemblance between tropes, and given that we set our theory in a truthmaker theoretical framework – all of which are standard assumptions for proponents of (the standard-version of) the trope-theory).2
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,577
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Statue and the Clay.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1998 - Noûs 32 (2):149-173.
On the Relations of Universals and Particulars.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 12:1-24.
What’s Wrong With Infinite Regresses?Daniel Nolan - 2001 - Metaphilosophy 32 (5):523-538.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Viciousness and the Structure of Reality.Ricki Leigh Bliss - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):399-418.
Paradigms and Russell's Resemblance Regress.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (4):644 – 651.
Regarding a Regress.Yuri Cath - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):358-388.
Infinite Regress Arguments.Jan Willem Wieland - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (1):95-109.
The Regress of Pure Powers Revisited.Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):529-541.
If Tropes.Anna-Sofia Maurin - 2002 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Added to PP index

Total views
99 ( #107,799 of 2,446,554 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #231,676 of 2,446,554 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes