In this article, we present a new conception of internal relations between quantity tropes falling under determinates and determinables. We begin by providing a novel characterization of the necessary relations between these tropes as basic internal relations. The core ideas here are that the existence of the relata is sufficient for their being internally related, and that their being related does not require the existence of any specific entities distinct from the relata. We argue that quantity tropes are, as determinate (...) particular natures, internally related by certain relations of proportion and order. By being determined by the nature of tropes, the relations of proportion and order remain invariant in conventional choice of unit for any quantity and give rise to natural divisions among tropes. As a consequence, tropes fall under distinct determinables and determinates. Our conception provides an accurate account of quantitative distances between tropes but avoids commitment to determinable universals. In this important respect, it compares favorably with the standard conception taking exact similarity and quantitative distances as primitive internal relations. Moreover, we argue for the superiority of our approach in comparison with two additional recent accounts of the similarity of quantity tropes. (shrink)
Is it possible to get by with just one ontological category? We evaluate L.A. Paul's attempt to do so: the mereological bundle theory. The upshot is that Paul's attempt to construct a one category ontology may be challenged with some of her own arguments. In the positive part of the paper we outline a two category ontology with property universals and kind universals. We will also examine Paul's arguments against a version of universal bundle theory that takes spatiotemporal co-location instead (...) of compresence or coinstantiation as the feature by which we can identify genuine bundles. We compare this novel theory, bundle theory with kinds, and Paul's mereological bundle theory and apply them to a case study concerning entangled fermions and co-located bosons. (shrink)
This article presents a trope bundle theory of simple substances, the Strong Nuclear Theory[SNT] building on the schematic basis offered by Simons's (1994) Nuclear Theory[NT]. The SNT adopts Ellis's (2001) dispositional essentialist conception of simple substances as powerful particulars: all of their monadic properties are dispositional. Moreover, simple substances necessarily belong to some natural kind with a real essence formed by monadic properties. The SNT develops further the construction of substances the NT proposes to obtain an adequate trope bundle theory (...) of powerful particulars. The SNT allows for co-located powerful particulars. However, every powerful particular is necessarily co-located with its constituent tropes, which determine its causal powers. Every constituent trope of substance i is part of a trope aggregate (the n-bundle or c-bundle) that forms an individual figuring in the basic spatio-temporal relations. The location of these individuals determines the location of individual tropes. Since they are necessarily co-located with substance i when they exist, every trope t of i is necessarily co-located with i when it exits. Every simple substance has nuclear tropes necessary to it. It belongs to certain primary natural kind K because its nuclear tropes belong to certain distinct determinate kinds. (shrink)
This paper is the first trope-theoretical reply to E. J. Lowe’s serious dilemma against trope nominalism in print. The first horn of this dilemma is that if tropes are identity dependent on substances, a vicious circularity threatens trope theories because they must admit that substances are identity dependent on their constituent tropes. According to the second horn, if the trope theorist claims that tropes are identity independent, she faces two insurmountable difficulties. (1) It is hard to understand the ontological dependence (...) of tropes on substances. (2) The identity-conditions of tropes cannot be determinate, which threatens the determination of the identity-conditions of substances. Our reply to the first horn of Lowe’s dilemma is to deny the identity dependence of tropes. Yet we can avoid the second horn because our theory can explain the ontological dependence of tropes on substances and the fully-determined identity-conditions of both tropes and substances. (shrink)
According to standard trope nominalism, there are simple tropes that do not have parts or multiply distinct aspects. Douglas Ehring’s reductio ad absurdum against this standard view concludes that there are no simple tropes. In this paper, we provide a response to Ehring defending the standard view. Ehring’s argument may be refuted by (1) distinguishing the ontological form of tropes from their contribution to the ontological content of the world, and (2) construing tropes as having primitive identity. At the same (...) time, standard trope nominalism is elaborated on by distinguishing between ontological form and content, for which there are also independent reasons. (shrink)
We argue that if one wishes to be a realist, one should adopt a Neo-Aristotelian ontology involving tropes instead of a Russellian ontology of property universals and objects. Either Russellian realists should adopt the relata-specific relational tropes of instantiation instead of facts, or convert to Neo-Aristotelian realism with monadic tropes. Regarding Neo-Aristotelian realism, we have two novel points why it fares better than Russellian realism. Instantiation of property universals by tropes and characterization or inherence between tropes and objects are more (...) transparent ontological notions than relational inherence, which is assumed in Russellian realism with the relational tropes of instantiation. Neo-Aristotelian realism makes better sense about abstract universals, which are a more viable option than concrete universals. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue for a novel three-dimensionalist solution to the problem of persistence, i.e. cross-temporal identity. We restrict the discussion of persistence to simple substances, which do not have other substances as their parts. The account of simple substances employed in the paper is a trope-nominalist strong nuclear theory, which develops Peter Simons' trope nominalism. Regarding the distinction between three dimensionalism and four dimensionalism, we follow Michael Della Rocca's formulation, in which 3D explains persistence in virtue of same (...) entities and 4D in virtue of distinct entities. SNT is a 3D'ist position because it accounts for the persistence of simple substances in virtue of diachronically identical ânuclearâ tropes. The nuclear tropes of a simple substance are necessary for it and mutually rigidly dependent but distinct. SNT explains qualitative change by tropes that are contingent to a simple substance. We show that it avoids the standard problems of 3D: temporal relativization of ontic predication, Bradley's regress and coincidence, fission and fusion cases. The temporal relativization is avoided because of the analysis of temporary parts that SNT gives in terms of temporal sub-location, which is atemporal partâwhole relation. (shrink)
In this paper, we discern different types of possible relations. We focus on the distinction between internal and external relations and their various possible sub-types. In the first section, we present what is nowadays more or less the standard distinction between internal and external relations. In the second section, we make two contributions to the literature of internal relations: a new taxonomy of internal relations and a novel distinction between formal and material ontological relations. In the third section, we discuss (...) three distinctions among external relations, in particular the distinction between relata-specific and relata-unspecific relations. We argue that relata-specific external relations are a promising but incomplete solution to the vexed problem of Bradley’s relation regress. (shrink)
In Lowe’s Four-Category Ontology, instantiation is a basic formal ontological relation between particulars (objects, modes) and their kinds (kinds, attributes). Therefore, instantiation must be considered as a metaphysically necessary relation, which also rules out the metaphysical possibility of kind change. Nevertheless, according to Lowe, objects obtain their identity conditions in a more general level than specific natural kinds, which allows for kind change. There also seems to be actual examples of kind change. The advocate of Four-Category Ontology is obliged to (...) resolve the tension between these mutually incompatible claims. In this article, we argue that the only viable option for the advocate of Four-Category Ontology is to bite the bullet and stick to the necessity of each of the most specific natural kind to the object instantiating it. As a major drawback, the four-category ontologist does not have any credible means to allow for kind change or determination of the identity conditions in a more general level. (shrink)
The trope bundle theories of objects are capable of analyzing monadic inherence (objects having tropes), which is one of their main advantage. However, the best current trope theoretical account of relational tropes, namely, the relata specific view leaves relational inherence (a relational trope relating two or more entities) primitive. This article presents the first trope theoretical analysis of relational inherence by generalizing the trope theoretical analysis of inherence to relational tropes. The analysis reduces the holding of relational inherence to the (...) obtaining of certain other facts about entities of the trope theoretical category system. Moreover, I show that the analysis can deal with asymmetric and non-symmetric relations by assuming that all relation-like tropes are quantities. Finally, I provide an account of the spatial location of tropes in the difficult case in which tropes contribute to determining of the location of other entities. (shrink)
This PhD thesis presents some of my earlier attempts to develop a trope bundle theory. It contains a fairly comprehensive discussion of Simons' (1994, 1998) views and Denkel's (1995, 1996) Saturation Theory, which might still be useful.
According to Lowe’s Four-Category Ontology, the general nature of the entities belonging to the four fundamental categories is determined by the basic formal ontological relations (instantiation and characterization) that they bear to other entities. I argue that, in closer analysis, instead of one formal relation of characterization, this category system introduces two, one connecting particulars and another universals. With regard to the characterization relation connecting particulars, it remains an open issue whether it would need further analysis. By contrast, the status (...) of instantiation as an internal relation is comparatively clear. Nevertheless, because of holding by virtue of the essences of particulars, the holding of instantiation between universals and particulars rules out the possibility of kind change and entails that particulars are essentially rigidly dependent on universals. Finally, Lowe’s analysis of necessary exemplification gives us some reasons to suspect that some property universals need not have any instances in order to exist. (shrink)
Contrary to widely shared opinion in analytic metaphysics, E.J. Lowe argues against the existence of relations in his posthumously published paper There are probably no relations (2016). In this article, I assess Lowe’s eliminativist strategy, which aims to show that all contingent “relational facts” have a monadic foundation in modes characterizing objects. Second, I present two difficult ontological problems supporting eliminativism about relations. Against eliminativism, metaphysicians of science have argued that relations might well be needed in the best a posteriori (...) motivated account of the structure of reality. Finally, I argue that, by analyzing relational inherence, trope theory offers us a completely new approach to relational entities and avoids the hard problems motivating eliminativism. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley’s relation regress poses a difficult problem for metaphysics of relations. In this paper, we reconstruct this regress argument systematically and make its presuppositions explicit in order to see where the possibility of its solution or resolution lies. We show that it cannot be answered by claiming that it is not vicious. Neither is one of the most promising resolutions, the relata-specific answer adequate in its present form. It attempts to explain adhence (relating), which is a crucial component (...) of the explanandum of Bradley’s relation regress, in terms of specific adherence of a relational trope to its relata. Nevertheless, since we do not know the consequences and constituents of a trope adhering to its specific relata, it remains unclear what specific adherence is. It is left as a constitutively inexplicable primitive. The relata-specific answer only asserts against Bradley. This negative conclusion highlights the need for a metaphysical account of what the holding of adherence consists. (shrink)
[A comment paper on Tuomas Tahko's book An Introduction to Metametaphysics (CUP, 2016).] Pyrin tässä artikkelissa selvittämään, missä määrin Tuomas Tahkon kirjan An Introduction to Metametaphysics luvussa 9 esittämä käsitys tieteen ja metafysiikan suhteesta tuo selvyyttä metafysiikan luonteeseen itsenäisenä tutkimusalana. Analyyttinen metafysiikka on joutunut viimeisten viidentoista vuoden aikana kasvavan kritiikin kohteeksi. James Ladymanin (2012) mukaan viime aikoina suosittu käsitys metafyysisen teorian valinnasta teoreettisten hyveiden perusteella kohtaa niin sanotun vahvan globaalin alimääräytyneisyyden ongelman. Tahko pyrkii vastaamaan näihin huoliin esittämällä synteesiin E.J. Lowen (...) metafysiikkakäsityksen ja Laurie Paulin (2002) esittämien ideoiden välillä. Argumentoin, että Tahkon vastaus on sikäli puutteellinen, että se jättää avoimeksi kysymyksen parhaan ontologisen kategoriajärjestelmän valinnasta. Teen ehdotuksia siitä, miten voimme välttää alimääräytyneisyyshuolen myös tässä tapauksessa. (shrink)
In this article, we propose a new trope nominalist conception of determinate and determinable kinds of quantitative tropes. The conception is developed as follows. First, we formulate a new account of tropes falling under the same determinates and determinables in terms of internal relations of proportion and order. Our account is a considerable improvement on the current standard account (Campbell 1990; Maurin 2002; Simons 2003) because it does not rely on primitive internal relations of exact similarity or quantitative distance. The (...) internal relations of proportion and order hold because the related tropes exist; no kinds of tropes need be assumed here. Second, we argue that there are only pluralities of tropes in relations of proportion and order. The tropes mutually connected by the relations of proportion and order form a special type of plurality, tropes belonging to the same kind. Unlike the recent nominalist accounts, we do not identify kinds of tropes with any further entities (e.g. sets) or abstractions from entities (e.g. pluralities of similar tropes). (shrink)
Trope theories aim to eschew the primitive dichotomy between characterising (properties, relations) and characterized entities (objects). This article (in Finnish) presents a new trope theoretical analysis of relational inherence as the best way out of the impasse created by the alleged necessity to choose between an eliminativist and a primitivist ("relata-specific") view about relations in trope theory.
A specific variety of formal causation is dispositional essentialism. This chapter argues that dispositional essentialism is incompatible with any trope bundle theory committed to the primitive identity of tropes, such as Keith Campbell’s account and the authors’ own Strong Nuclear Theory. Dispositional essentialism would render at least some tropes identity-dependent on other tropes, while all tropes must be considered identity-independent existents in these trope theories. Furthermore, dispositional essentialism relies on the problematic notion of dispositional essence, and it remains unclear whether (...) dispositional essentialism gains any ontological economy in comparison with the views taking laws of nature as primitive. Finally, the chapter outlines an alternative view based on Deborah Smith’s non-recombinational quidditism. According to it, tropes as determinate particular natures necessarily play certain nomological roles. It is argued that this might be completed with a new conception of tropes as parts of causal processes, which further clarifies the necessary connection between tropes and certain nomological roles. (shrink)
According to strong immanent realism, proposed for instance by David M. Armstrong, universals are concrete, located in their instances. E.J. Lowe and Douglas Ehring have presented arguments to the effect that strong immanent realism is incoherent. Cody Gilmore has defended strong immanent realism against the charge of incoherence. Gilmore’s argument has thus far remained unanswered. We argue that Gilmore’s response to the charge of incoherence is an ad hoc move without support independent of strong immanent realism itself. We conclude that (...) strong immanent realism remains under the threat of incoherence posed by Lowe and Ehring. (shrink)
This article defends strong formal ontological conception of ontological categories against Lewis's "deflanationary" conception. Here, it sides with E.J. Lowe (1998) among others. However, the paper argues against Lowe's conception of metaphysics as an a priori science. Different category systems are compared and the best system is selected on the basis of its ability to accommodate our the best a posteriori conceptions of reality.
An old paper of mine (in Finnish) on the "similarity" of quantity tropes. See "Quantity Tropes and Internal Relations", "Kinds of Tropes without Kinds" and "The Ontological Form of Tropes" for more updated version of our theory.
In this article, I will focus on the notion of supervenience introduced and deployed by Armstrong. The aim is to settle the issue of whether it has any fruitful applications. My conclusions are negative. Armstrong gives to his notion of supervenience a major explanatory role of telling why one need not consider certain beings as a genuine ontic expansion, if one already assumes a certain meagre set of more basic entities. On closer inspection, however, Armstrong’s notion does not clarify such (...) intuitions any further. The legitimate uses of the notion for the above purpose turn out to be redundant: the concepts of identity and partial identity can be employed instead. (shrink)
My earlier attempt to develop a trope nominalist account of the relation between tropes and causal processes. In accordance with weak dispositional essentialism (Hendry & Rowbottom 2009), I remain uncommitted to full-blown necessity of causal functional laws. Instead, the existence of tropes falling under a determinable and certain kind of causal processes guarantee that corresponding functional laws do not have falsifying instances.
This paper explores the prospects of a combinatorial account of modality. We argue against David M. Armstrong’s version of combinatorialism, which seeks to do without modal primitives, on the grounds, among other things, that Armstrong’s basic ontological categories are themselves subject to non-contingent constraints on recombination. We outline an alternative version, which acknowledges the necessity of modal primitives, at the level of ontology, and not just of our concepts.
In this chapter, I present the first systematic trope nominalist approach to natural kinds of objects. It does not identify natural kinds with the structures of mind-independent entities (objects, universals or tropes). Rather, natural kinds are abstractions from natural kind terms and objects belong to a natural kind if they satisfy their mind-independent application conditions. By relying on the trope theory SNT (Keinänen 2011), I show that the trope parts of a simple object determine the kind to which it belongs. (...) Moreover, I take the first steps to generalize the trope nominalist theory to the natural kinds of complex objects. (shrink)
The goal of formal ontological inquiry is to reveal the categorial structure of the mind-independent reality. In the first part of this article, I criticize two popular ways to study the categorial structure, Strong and Weak Modelling. In the second part of the article, I present my positive account. The systematic description of the different kinds of entities assumed by our commonsense conceptions forms a starting-point of the study of the categorial structure of the world. However, it is the task (...) of Revisionary Metaphysics to seek for the best conception of the categorial structure. Revisionary Metaphysics proceeds as testing alternative conceptions of the categorial structure. The main new contribution of the article is to propose certain general principles for the comparison of such alternative conceptions. (shrink)
Although the importance, both historically and systematically, of the seventeenth century distinction between primary and secondary qualities is commonly recognised, there is no consensus on its exact nature. Apparently, one of the main difficulties in its interpretation is to tell the constitutive from the argumentative elements. In this paper, we focus on the primary-secondary quality distinctions drawn by Boyle and Locke. We criticise, more specifically, MacIntoshs analysis of them. On the one hand, MacIntosh attributes too many different primary-secondary quality distinctions (...) to Boyle and Locke. On the other hand, he forbears to attribute a particular primary-secondary quality distinction to them, which, at least in the case of Boyle, differs genuinely from his main distinction between the mechanical affections of matter and all of matters other qualities. (shrink)
For almost fifty years, David Armstrong has made major contributions in analytic philosophy. The aim of this volume is to collect papers that situate, discuss and critically assess Armstrong’s contributions. The book is organized in three parts. In Section I: Analytical Metaphysics and Its Methodology, certain basic principles of analytic metaphysics advocated by Armstrong (such as truthmaker maximalism and the Doctrine of Ontological Free Lunch) and their consequences are critically examined. The articles of Section II: Laws of Nature, Dispositions, and (...) Modality, study the constraints Armstrong’s naturalism sets to his ontology of modality, laws and dispositions. Finally, the articles of Section III: Mind and Epistemology, study and critically evaluate Armstrong’s contributions in epistemology, the philosophy of perception and color. The collection is meant for all philosophers and scholars interested in these central topics of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
This paper (in Finnish) concerns the ontological status of categories of entities. I argue that categories are not be considered as further entities. Rather, it is suffcient for entities belonging to the same category that they are in exactly the same formal ontological relations and have the same general category features.