Structural Universals and Formal Relations

Synthese 131 (2):215 - 221 (2002)

Abstract

I will consider Armstrong's problems in trying to account for structural universals, i.e., a kind of complex universal whose instantiation by particulars involves different parts of those particulars instantiating several basic properties and relations, such as the property of being a molecule of methane. I present and criticise Armstrong's most recent attempt to explain structural properties by means of the identification of universals with types of states of affairs and I state my own solution to the problem by appealing to formal relations holding between particulars.

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References found in this work

What is a Law of Nature?D. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.
Against Structural Universals.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (1):25 – 46.
In Defence of Structural Universals.D. M. Armstrong - 1986 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (1):85 – 88.

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