In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 5--448 (2013)

Henrik Rydéhn
University Tübingen
The claim that there are bare particulars — individuals possessing no properties — is a highly controversial thesis in metaphysics. It has been heavily criticized and is often thought to be subject to a number of decisive counterarguments, some of which aim to show that there is something incoherent about the very idea of a bare particular. I believe that the theory of bare particulars can, given certain modifications, be defended from such accusations. But the fact that a theory is not incoherent does not suffice for it to be a good theory, and I believe that the theory of bare particulars — although capable of coherence — is a deeply unsatisfactory theory in metaphysics, for reasons rarely appreciated in the discussion. In sections 2 and 3 of this paper, I introduce the notion of a bare particular by presenting two of the central theoretical tasks for which the postulation of such entities has been thought necessary. In section 4, I present three of the classical arguments intended to show that the theory of bare particulars is fundamentally flawed or even incoherent. In section 5, I argue that if we adopt what I call the minimal view of bare particulars, the theory can handle all of these objections. Finally, in section 6, I argue that despite not being undermined by the classical arguments, the minimal view of bare particulars makes it highly implausible to suppose that there are any entities of that kind. The theory of bare particulars can be made coherent only at the cost of being made highly theoretically unattractive.
Keywords Bare particulars  Substratum  Individuation  Bundle theory  Constituent ontology  Mereology  Bare particular  Substrata
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