Consider a certain red rose. The proposition that the rose is red is true because the rose is red. One might say as well that the proposition that the rose is red is made true by the rose’s being red. This, it has been thought, does not commit one to a truthmaker of the proposition that the rose is red. For there is no entity that makes the proposition true. What makes it true is how the rose is, and how (...) the rose is is not an entity over and above the rose. It is against this view that I shall argue in this paper. I shall argue that a signiﬁcant class of true propositions, including inessential predications like the proposition that the rose is red, are made true by entities. "No truthmaking without truthmakers" is my slogan. Although I have my view about what kinds of entities are truthmakers, I shall not argue for or presuppose that view here. All I shall argue for here is that if a proposition is made true by something, it is made true by some thing, but my argument will leave it open what kind of thing that thing is: it could be a fact or state of affairs, a trope, or any other sort of entity. (shrink)
The paper argues that grounding is neither irreflexive, nor asymmetric, nor transitive. In arguing for that conclusion the paper also arguesthat truthmaking is neither irreflexive, nor asymmetric, nor transitive.
This bulletin contains a summary of the main topics of discussion in truthmaker theory, namely: the definition of truthmakers, problems with Truthmaker Necessitarianism and Truthmaker Maximalism, the ontological burden of truthmakers and the recalcitrant topic of truthmakers for negative truths.
Gardeners, poets, lovers, and philosophers are all interested in the redness of roses; but only philosophers wonder how it is that two different roses can share the same property. Are red things red because they resemble each other? Or do they resemble each other because they are red? Since the 1970s philosophers have tended to favour the latter view, and held that a satisfactory account of properties must involve the postulation of either universals or tropes. But Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra revives the (...) dormant alternative theory of resemblance nominalism, showing first that it can withstand the attacks of such eminent opponents as Goodman and Armstrong, and then that there are reasons to prefer it to its rival theories. The clarity and rigour of his arguments will challenge metaphysicians to rethink their views on properties. (shrink)
In this paper I undermine the Entailment Principle according to which if an entity is a truthmaker for a certain proposition and this proposition entails another, then the entity in question is a truthmaker for the latter proposition. I argue that the two most promising versions of the principle entail the popular but false Conjunction Thesis, namely that a truthmaker for a conjunction is a truthmaker for its conjuncts. One promising version of the principle understands entailment as strict implication but (...) restricts the field of application of the principle to purely contingent truths (i.e. those that contain no necessary proposition at any level of analysis). But a conjunction of purely contingent truths strictly implies its conjuncts. So this version of the principle is committed to the Conjunction Thesis. The same is true of the version of the principle where entailment is understood in the sense of systems T, R, and E of relevant logic, since in these systems conjunctions entail their conjuncts. I argue that the Conjunction Thesis is false because a truthmaker is that in virtue of what a certain proposition is true and it is false that, for example, what the proposition that Peter is a man is true in virtue of is the conjunctive fact that Peter is man and Saturn is a planet (or the facts that Peter is a man and that Saturn is a planet taken together). I also argue against other versions of the principle. (shrink)
1. The Bundle Theory I shall discuss is a theory about the nature of substances or concrete particulars, like apples, chairs, atoms, stars and people. The point of the Bundle Theory is to avoid undesirable entities like substrata that allegedly constitute particulars. The version of the Bundle Theory I shall discuss takes particulars to be entirely constituted by the universals they instantiate.' Thus particulars are said to be just bundles of universals. Together with the claim that it is necessary that (...) particulars have constituents, the fundamental claim of the Bundle Theory is: (BT) Necessarily, for every particular x and every entity y, y constitutes x if and only ify is a universal and x instantiates y. 2 The standard and supposedly devastating objection to the Bundle Theory is that it entails or is committed to a false version of the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (Armstrong 1978: 91, Loux 1998: 107), namely: (Pll) Necessarily, for all particulars x and y and every universal z, if z is instantiated by x if and only if z is instantiated byy, then x is numerically identical with y. The most famous counterexample to the Identity of Indiscernibles is that put forward by Max Black, consisting of a world where there are only two iron spheres two miles apart from each other, having the same diameter, temperature, colour, shape, size, etc (Black 1952: 156). Let us from now on think of the properties of the spheres in this world as universals. The possibility of this world, which I shall hereafter refer to as 'Black's world', makes (Pll) false.' And according to common philosophical opinion this means that the Bundle Theory is false.. (shrink)
In this article I address the Problem of Universals by answering questions about what facts a solution to the Problem of Universals should explain and how the explanation should go. I argue that a solution to the Problem of Universals explains the facts the Problem of Universals is about by giving the truthmakers (as opposed to the conceptual content and the ontological commitments) of the sentences stating those facts. I argue that the sentences stating the relevant facts are those like (...) 'a has the property F', that is, sentences stating that a particular has a certain property. Finally I show how answering these questions in this way transforms the Problem of Universals, traditionally conceived as the One over Many, that is, the problem of explaining how different particulars can have the same properties, into the Many over One, that is, the problem of explaining how the same particular can have different properties. The Problem of Universals is the problem of the Many over One. (shrink)
The subtraction argument, originally put forward by Thomas Baldwin (1996), is intended to establish Metaphysical Nihilism, the thesis that there could have been no concrete objects. Some modified versions of the argument have been proposed in order to avoid some difficulties faced by the original argument. In this paper I shall concentrate on two of those versions, the so-called subtraction argument* (presented and defended in Rodriguez-Pereyra 1997, 2000, 2002), and Efird and Stoneham’s recent version of the argument (Efird and Stoneham (...) 2005). I shall defend the subtraction argument* from Alexander Paseau’s (2006) objection that because a crucial premise of the subtraction argument* may have no plausibility independent from Metaphysical Nihilism, the subtraction argument* is not suasive. Although Paseau focuses on the subtraction argument*, I shall point out that Efird and Stoneham could reply to Paseau’s objection in the same way. Thus there are (at least) two suasive versions of the subtraction argument that establish Metaphysical Nihilism. But are those two arguments equally good? I shall argue that the subtraction argument* is preferable to Efird and Stoneham’s argument. (shrink)
The object of this paper is to provide a solution to Nelson Goodman’s Imperfect Community difficulty as it arises for Resemblance Nominalism, the view that properties are classes of resembling particulars. The Imperfect Community difficulty consists in that every two members of a class resembling each other is not sufficient for it to be a class such that there is some property common to all their members, even if ‘x resembles y’ is understood as ‘x and y share some property’. (...) In the paper I explain and criticise several solutions to the difficulty. Then I develop my own solution, which is not subject to the objections I make to the other solutions, and which accords completely with the basic tenets of Resemblance Nominalism. (shrink)
Peter Milne has tried to refure Truthmaker Maximalism. the thesis that every truth has a truthmaker, by producing a simple and direct counterexample to it, the sentence M: This sentence has no truthmaker. I argue that, contrary to what Milne argues, on Truthmaker Maximalism M is equivalent to the Liar, which gives the truthmaker maximalist a way to defend his position from Milne's counterexample: to argue that M expresses no proposition.
In this note we shall argue that Milne’s new effort does not refute Truthmaker Maximalism. According to Truthmaker Maximalism, every truth has a truthmaker. Milne has attempted to refute it using the following self-referential sentence M: This sentence has no truthmaker. Essential to his refutation is that M is like the Gödel sentence and unlike the Liar, and one way in which Milne supports this assimilation is through the claim that his proof is essentially object-level and not semantic. In Section (...) 2, we shall argue that Milne is still begging the question against Truthmaker Maximalism. In Section 3, we shall argue that even assimilating M to the Liar does not force the truthmaker maximalist to maintain the ‘dull option’ that M does not express a proposition. There are other options open and, though they imply revising the logic in Milne’s reasoning, this is not one of the possible revisions he considers. In Section 4, we shall suggest that Milne’s proof requires an implicit appeal to semantic principles and notions. In Section 5, we shall point out that there are two important dissimilarities between M and the Gödel sentence. Section 6 is a brief summary and conclusion. (shrink)
Descartes maintained substance dualism, the thesis that no substance has both mental and material properties. His main argument for this thesis, the so-called separability argument from the Sixth Meditation (AT VII: 78) has long puzzled readers. In this paper I argue that Descartes’ independence conception of substance (which Descartes presents in article 51 of the Principles) is crucial for the success of the separability argument and that Descartes used this conception of substance to defend his argument for substance dualism from (...) an important objection. (shrink)
What I call the argument from almost indiscernibles is an argument, put forward by Robert Adams in 1979, for the possibility of indiscernibles based on the possibility of almost indiscernibles. The argument is that if almost indiscernibles are possible, indiscernibles are possible, but since almost indiscernible are possible, indiscernibles are possible. The argument seems to be an improvement over the mere appeal to intuitions, like that suggested by Max Black, that situations in which there are indiscernibles are possible, for the (...) argument purports to give us a reason that indiscernibles are possible. In this paper I shall assess the argument by examining whether there is support for the conditional premise that if almost indiscernibles are possible, indiscernibles are possible. I shall argue that there are reasons to think that either the premise lacks support or almost indiscernibles are dispensable. If the premise lacks support, the argument does not establish the possibility of almost indiscernibles; if almost indiscernibles are dispensable, the argument is not needed to establish the possibility of indiscernibles. (shrink)
According to one of Leibniz's theories of contingency a proposition is contingent if and only if it cannot be proved in a finite number of steps. It has been argued that this faces the Problem of Lucky Proof , namely that we could begin by analysing the concept ‘Peter’ by saying that ‘Peter is a denier of Christ and …’, thereby having proved the proposition ‘Peter denies Christ’ in a finite number of steps. It also faces a more general but (...) related problem that we dub the Problem of Guaranteed Proof . We argue that Leibniz has an answer to these problems since for him one has not proved that ‘Peter denies Christ’ unless one has also proved that ‘Peter’ is a consistent concept, an impossible task since it requires the full decomposition of the infinite concept ‘Peter’. We defend this view from objections found in the literature and maintain that for Leibniz all truths about created individual beings are contingent. (shrink)
Bertrand Russell argued that any attempt to get rid of universals in favor of resemblances fails. He argued that no resemblance theory could avoid postulating a universal of resemblance without falling prey to a vicious infinite regress. He added that admitting such a universal of resemblance made it pointless to avoid other universals. In this paper I defend resemblance nominalism from both of Russell's points by arguing that (a) resemblance nominalism can avoid the postulation of a universal of resemblance without (...) falling into a vicious infinite regress, and (b) even if resemblance nominalism had to admit a universal of resemblance, this would not make it pointless to avoid postulating other universals. (shrink)
I believe in metaphysical nihilism, the thesis that there could have been no concrete objects, because I believe in a version of the subtraction argument, the subtraction argument*, that proves it. But both Jonathan Lowe (2002) and Alexander Paseau (2002) express doubts about the subtraction argument*. Paseau thinks the argument is invalid, and Lowe argues that invoking concrete* objects is unnecessary. Furthermore Lowe attempts to rebut my objections (Rodriguez-Pereyra 2000) to his anti-nihilist argument (Lowe 1998). In this paper I defend (...) the subtraction argument* from Paseau's and Lowe's criticisms as well as show that the premises of Lowe's anti-nihilist argument are still lacking support. (shrink)
The concern of this paper is a version of Resemblance Nominalism according to which resemblance classes, i.e. classes of resembling things, are determined by paradigms. I show that the theory is false, since paradigms do not generally determine resemblance classes. Although I concentrate upon the version of the theory which was delineated by H. H. Price, my results apply to any other theory constructing resemblance classes out of paradigms.
Leibniz was a philosopher of principles: the principles of Contradiction, of Sufficient Reason, of Identity of Indiscernibles, of Plenitude, of the Best, and of Continuity are among the most famous Leibnizian principles. In this article I shall focus on the first three principles; I shall discuss various formulations of the principles (sect. 1), what it means for these theses to have the status of principles or axioms in Leibniz’s philosophy (sect. 2), the fundamental character of the Principles of Contradiction and (...) Sufficient Reason (sect. 3), some attempts to demonstrate the Principles of Contradiction and Sufficient Reason (sect. 4), and one attempt to demonstrate the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (sect. 5). The main results of the chapter are summarized in a short conclusion (sect. 6). (shrink)
In my book *Resemblance Nominalism* I argued that the truthmakers of ´a and b resemble each other´ are just a and b. In his "Resemblance Nominalism and counterparts" Alexander Bird objects to my claim that the truthmakers of ´a and b resemble each other´ are just a and b. In this paper I respond to Bird´s objections.
In this paper I discuss a passage from *Naming and Necessity* where Kripke assumes that the essential properties by means of which a definite description designates are a sufficient condition of its rigidity. I put forward two examples that show the falsity of this assumption. Then I examine the non-rigid character of definite descriptions that designate by means of properties that are sufficient conditions of identity of the objects designated by those descriptions. I conclude that the properties by means of (...) which rigid descriptions designate must be both necessary and sufficient conditions of the identity of the designated objects. (shrink)
In the Discourse on Metaphysics Leibniz put forward his famous complete-concept definition of substance. Sometimes this definition is glossed as stating that a substance is an entity with a concept so complete that it contains all its predicates, and it is thought that it follows directly from Leibniz’s theory of truth. Now, an adequate definition of substance should not apply to accidents. But, as I shall point out, if Leibniz’s theory of truth is correct then an accident is an entity (...) with a concept so complete that it contains all its predicates. The aim of this paper is to clarify Leibniz’s notion of substance in the Discourse with a view to explaining how that definition successfully distinguishes between substances and accidents. (shrink)
The resemblance nominalist says that the truthmaker of 〈Socrates is white〉 ultimately involves only concrete particulars that resemble each other. Furthermore he also says that Socrates and Plato are the truthmakers of 〈Socrates resembles Plato〉, and Socrates and Aristotle those of 〈Socrates resembles Aristotle〉. But this, combined with a principle about the truthmakers of conjunctions, leads to the apparently implausible conclusion that 〈Socrates resembles Plato and Socrates resembles Aristotle〉 and 〈Socrates resembles Plato and Plato resembles Aristotle〉 have the same truthmakers, (...) namely, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. I shall argue that the resemblance nominalist can say that those conjunctions have the same truthmakers but these truthmakers make them true in different ways. I shall also use this view to account for the truthmakers of propositions like 〈Socrates is white〉, and respond to previous objections by Cian Dorr and Jessica Wilson. (shrink)
Leibniz’s short letter to the mathematician and physicist Ludovico Casati of 1689 is a short but interesting text on the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles, to which it is entirely dedicated. Since there is no watermark in the paper of the letter, the letter is difficult to date, but it is likely that it was written during Leibniz’s stay in Rome, sometime between April and November of 1689 (A 2 2 287–8). When addressing the letter, Leibniz wrote ‘Casani’, but this (...) seems to be a mistake and the real addressee is thought to be Ludovico Casati, nephew of Paolo Casati, the Jesuit mathematician. The letter, reproduced in the Berlin’s Academy edition of Leibniz’s works, was first published by Gerhardt in the Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie in 1892 (Gerhardt 1892: 53–54). It also appears in Robinet’s Iter Italicum (Robinet 1988: 134–35). But neither Gerhardt nor Robinet provide a philosophical discussion of the letter, and I am not aware of any other philosophical discussion of it. Furthermore, as far as I know, the letter has never been translated into any language. Thus I shall here provide a transcription (from A 2 2 288–89) and a translation of the letter into English, and a philosophical discussion of its treatment of the Identity of Indiscernibles. (shrink)
In this chapter I shall reply to a pair of articles in which the main contention of my “Why truthmakers” – namely, that an important class of synthetic true propositions have entities as truth-makers – is rejected. In §§1–5 I reply to Jennifer Hornsby’s “Truth without Truthmaking Entities” (2005) and in §§6–7 I reply to Julian Dodd’s “Negative Truths and Truthmaker Principles” (2007).
Universals have traditionally thought to obey the identity of indiscernibles, that is, it has traditionally been thought that there can be no perfectly similar universals. But at least in the conception of universals as immanent, there is nothing that rules out there being indiscernible universals. In this paper, I shall argue that there is useful work indiscernible universals can do, and so there might be reason to postulate indiscernible universals. In particular, I shall argue that postulating indiscernible universals can allow (...) a theory of universals to identify particulars with bundles of universals, and that postulating indiscernible universals can allow a theory of universals to develop an account of the resemblance of quantitative universals that avoids the objections that Armstrong’s account faces. Finally, I shall respond to some objections and I shall undermine the criterion of distinction between particulars and universals that says that the distinction between particulars and universals lies in that while there can be indiscernible particulars, there cannot be indiscernible universals. (shrink)
Causation was an important topic of philosophical reflection during the Seventeenth Century. This reflection centred around certain particular problems about causation, one of which was the problem of causation between mind and body. The doctrine of the pre-established harmony is Leibniz's response to the problem of causation between mind and body. In this chapter I shall (a) explain the problem of mind-body causation; (b) explain Leibniz's pre-established harmony; and (c) assess his case for it.
Resemblance Nominalism is the view that denies universals and tropes and claims that what makes F-things F is their resemblances. A famous argument against Resemblance Nominalism is Russell's regress of resemblances, according to which the resemblance nominalist falls into a vicious infinite regress. Aristocratic Resemblance Nominalism, as opposed to Egalitarian Resemblance Nominalism, is the version of Resemblance Nominalism that claims that what makes F-things F is that they resemble the F-paradigms. In this paper I attempt to show that a recently (...) advocated strategy to stop Russell's regress by using paradigms does not succeed. (shrink)
Mellor´s theory of causation has two components, one according to which causes raise their effects´ chances, and one according to which causation links facts. I argue that these two components are not independent from each other and, in particular, that Mellor´s thesis that causation links facts requires his thesis that causes raise their effects´ chances, since without the latter thesis Mellor cannot stop the slingshot argument, an argument that is a threat to any theory postulating facts as the relata of (...) causation. (shrink)
In this paper I argue, contra Fraser MacBride, that conceptual analysis, and in particular the distinction between numerical and qualitative identity, can solve the Problem of Universals, whether understood as the One over Many or the as the Many over One. In this paper I show why the solutions needed to solve either version of the problem must be in terms of truthmakers, and that the distinction between numerical and qualitative identity is not sufficient to solve them.
In this paper I present what I call the 'Metaphysical Problem of Truth', which consists in explaining in virtue of what all true sentences are true, and argue that a version of the Correspondence Theory of Truth is the most plausible solution to this problem.
In this paper I argue that Modal Realism, the thesis that there exist non-actual possible individuals and worlds, can be made compatible with Metaphysical Nihilism, the thesis that it is possible that nothing concrete exists. Modal Realism as developed by Lewis rules out the possibility of a world where nothing concrete exists and so conflicts with Metaphysical Nihilism. In the paper I argue that Modal Realism can be modified so as to be compatible with Metaphysical Nihilism. Such a modification makes (...) Modal Realism neither incur further theoretical costs nor lose its theoretical benefits. Thus such a modification constitutes an improvement of Modal Realism. (shrink)
In this paper I reconstruct Leibniz's argument for the Identity of Indiscernibles in his *Primary Truths*. I criticise the alternative interpretation put forward by Cover and O'Leary-Hawthorne and defend my own interpretation, both on philosophical and hermeneutical grounds.
In Section 21 of his fifth letter to Clarke Leibniz attempts to derive the Identity of Indiscernibles from an application of the Principle of Sufficient Reason to God´s act of creation, namely that God has a reason to create the world he creates. In this paper I argue that this argument fails, not just because the Identity of Indiscernibles is false, but because there is a counterexample to one of the premises that Leibniz cannot satisfactorily rule out.
Real Metaphysics brings together new articles by leading metaphysicians to honour Hugh Mellor's outstanding contribution to metaphysics. Some of the most outstanding minds of current times shed new light on all the main topics in metaphysics: truth, causation, dispositions and properties, explanation, and time. At the end of the book, Hugh Mellor responds to the issues raised by each of the thirteen contributors and gives us new insight into his own highly influential work on metaphysics.
In this paper I shall show how the Correspondence Theory of Truth can block Davidson’s Slingshot (Davidson 1984), which threatens to make the Correspondence Theory collapse. In particular I shall show that the Slingshot is unsound − and in so doing I shall show that the Correspondence Theory has some metaphysical commitments about the nature of facts.
The paper clarifies the sense of remark 202 of Wittgenstein's *Philosophical Investigations* with respect to its relation to the private language argument. It argues, against what some have maintained, that remark 202 is not meant to reject the possibility of a private language as this is defined in remark 243.
Nominalism, which has its origins in the Middle Ages and continues into the Twenty-First Century, is the doctrine that there are no universals. This book is unique in bringing together essays on the history of nominalism and essays that present a systematic discussion of nominalism. It introduces the reader to the distinction between particulars and universals, to the difficulties posed by this distinction, and to the main motivations for the rejection of universals. It also describes the main varieties of nominalism (...) about properties and provides tools to understand how they developed in the history of Western Philosophy. All essays are new and are written by experts on the topic, and they advance the discussion about nominalism to a new level. (shrink)