The Bundle Theory, the Principle of Unity for Elementary Particulars, and Some Issues

Andrew Newman
University of Nebraska, Omaha
1 See for example, E. J. Lowe, The Possibility of Metaphysics, pp. 51-3, 210-220, and David Lewis, The Plurality of Worlds on the notion of concrete object. 2 The properties that are constituents of a particular should be intrinsic properties, though it need not be assumed that all its intrinsic properties are constituents. The notion of intrinsic property is easier if a sparse view (as opposed to an abundant view) of properties is assumed. A sparse view requires a criterion for being a property, such as a causal principle (Shoemaker) or the related Eleatic principle (Armstrong). Intrinsic properties should be real properties. Such a criterion should rule out conjunctive properties, disjunctive properties, and negated properties. On the hand, it could be stipulated that these are not intrinsic properties. Those that believe in abundant properties should use the criterion to divide properties into two classes (natural and non-natural); intrinsic properties would then be located in the first class. Extrinsic properties are properties that an object possesses in virtue of other objects, their properties, and relations that involve them. If these other objects were to disappear all intrinsic properties would be unaffected. Intrinsic properties are non-relational in the sense that an object does not possesses them in virtue of other objects, their properties, and relations between them. However, intrinsic properties can be relational when an object possesses a (monadic) property in virtue of relations between its parts. Paradigmatic intrinsic properties are the mass, charge, magnetic moment, and spin of the electron as normally understood.
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