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)
Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra offers a fresh philosophical account of properties. How is it that two different things (such as two red roses) can share the same property (redness)? According to resemblance nominalism, things have their properties in virtue of resembling other things. This unfashionable view is championed with clarity and rigor.
What is it for a picture to depict a scene? The most orthodox philosophical theory of pictorial representation holds that depiction is grounded in resemblance. A picture represents a scene in virtue of being similar to that scene in certain ways. This essay presents evidence against this claim: curvilinear perspective is one common style of depiction in which successful pictorial representation depends as much on a picture's systematic differences with the scene depicted as on the similarities; it cannot be (...) analyzed in terms of similarity alone. The same problem arises for many other kinds of depiction. The essay concludes that depiction in general is not grounded in resemblance but geometrical transformation. (shrink)
It’s a platitude – which only a philosopher would dream of denying – that whereas words are connected to what they represent merely by arbitrary conventions, pictures are connected to what they represent by resemblance. The most important difference between my portrait and my name, for example, is that whereas my portrait and I are connected by my portrait’s resemblance to me, my name and I are connected merely by an arbitrary convention. The first aim of this book (...) is to defend this platitude from the apparently compelling objections raised against it, by analysing depiction in a way which reveals how it is mediated by resemblance. -/- It’s natural to contrast the platitude that depiction is mediated by resemblance, which emphasises the differences between depictive and descriptive representation, with an extremely close analogy between depiction and description, which emphasises the similarities between depictive and descriptive representation. Whereas the platitude emphasises that the connection between my portrait and me is natural in a way the connection between my name and me is not, the analogy emphasises the contingency of the connection between my portrait and me. Nevertheless, the second aim of this book is to defend an extremely close analogy between depiction and description. -/- The strategy of the book is to argue that the apparently compelling objections raised against the platitude that depiction is mediated by resemblance are manifestations of more general problems, which are familiar from the philosophy of language. These problems, it argues, can be resolved by answers analogous to their counterparts in the philosophy of language, without rejecting the platitude. So the combination of the platitude that depiction is mediated by resemblance with a close analogy between depiction and description turns out to be a compelling theory of depiction, which combines the virtues of common sense with the insights of its detractors. (shrink)
Depiction is the form of representation distinctive of figurative paintings, drawings, and photographs. Accounts of depiction attempt to specify the relation something must bear to an object in order to depict it. Resemblance accounts hold that the notion of resemblance is necessary to the specification of this relation. Several difficulties with such analyses have led many philosophers to reject the possibility of an adequate resemblance account of depiction. This essay outlines these difficulties and argues that current (...) class='Hi'>resemblance accounts succumb to them. It then develops an alternative resemblance account, drawing on Grice's account of nonnatural meaning and its role in determining sentence meaning to argue that something depicts an object if it bears intention-based resemblances to the object that jointly capture its overall appearance. In addition to solving the metaphysical problem of what it is for something to depict an object, this account also sheds significant light on the epistemological issue of how we are able to work out that something depicts an object. This essay argues that our ability to work out that something depicts an object results from both our more general ability to identify intentions from the products of communicative behavior and our knowledge of stylistic conventions. This account avoids the difficulties that face rival attempts to analyze depiction in terms of resemblance. It also clarifies and explains the features that distinguish depictive from nondepictive representation. (shrink)
The paper aims to develop a resemblance theory of properties that technically improves on past versions. The theory is based on a comparative resemblance predicate. In combination with other resources, it solves the various technical problems besetting resemblance nominalism. The paper’s second main aim is to indicate that previously proposed resemblance theories that solve the technical problems, including the comparative theory, are nominalistically unacceptable and have controversial philosophical commitments.
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)
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)
Wittgenstein's remarks about family resemblance in the Philosophical Investigations should not be construed as implying a comprehensive theory of universals. They possess, rather, a defensive function in his exposition. The remarks allow one, nevertheless, to draw certain general conclusions about how Wittgenstein thought about concepts. Reflection on the notion of family resemblance reveals that kinship and similarity considerations intersect in it in a problematic fashion.
Resemblances obtain not only between objects but between properties. Resemblances of the latter sort - in particular resemblances between quantitative properties - prove to be the downfall of a well-known theory of universals, namely the one presented by David Armstrong. This paper examines Armstrong's efforts to account for such resemblances within the framework of his theory and also explores several extensions of that theory. All of them fail.
One problem faced by resemblance views of depiction is posed by the misrepresentation. Another is to specify the respect in which pictures resemble their objects. To isolate the first, I discuss resemblance in the context of sculpture, where the solution to the second is, prima facie, obvious. The point of appealing to resemblance is to explain how the representation has the content it does. In the case of misrepresenting sculptures, this means appealing to resemblance, not between (...) the sculpture and the object represented as it actually is, but between the former and the latter as it is represented as being. Anxiety that this move empties the view of content can be met by framing carefully the questions that resemblance views should seek to answer. (shrink)
One prominent ambition of theories of colour is to pay full justice to how colours are subjectively given to us; and another to reconcile this ﬁrst-personal perspective on colours with the third-personal one of the natural sciences. The goal of this article is to question whether we can satisfy the second ambition on the assumption that the ﬁrst should and can be met. I aim to defend a negative answer to this question by arguing that the various kinds of experienced (...) colour resemblances – notably similarities in hue distance, sameness in superdeterminables, and colour resemblances between surfaces, volumes and illuminants – cannot be accounted for in terms of the mental representa-tion of the scientiﬁcally studied properties, which colours are best identiﬁed with in response to the second ambition. (shrink)
The so-called ‘‘species problem’’ has plagued evolution- ary biology since before Darwin’s publication of the aptly titled Origin of Species. Many biologists think the problem is just a matter of semantics; others complain that it will not be solved until we have more empirical data. Yet, we don’t seem to be able to escape discussing it and teaching seminars about it. In this paper, I briefly examine the main themes of the biological and philosophical liter- atures on the species problem, (...) focusing on identifying common threads as well as relevant differences. I then argue two fundamental points. First, the species problem is not primarily an empirical one, but it is rather fraught with philosophical questions that require—but cannot be settled by—empirical evidence. Second, the (dis-)solution lies in explicitly adopting Wittgenstein’s idea of ‘‘family resemblance’’ or cluster concepts, and to consider spe- cies as an example of such concepts. This solution has several attractive features, including bringing together apparently diverging themes of discussion among bio- logists and philosophers. The current proposal is con- ceptually independent (though not incompatible) with the pluralist approach to the species problem advocated by Mishler, Donoghue, Kitcher and Dupre ́, which implies that distinct aspects of the species question need to be emphasized depending on the goals of the researcher. From the biological literature, the concept of species that most closely matches the philosophical discussion pre- sented here is Templeton’s cohesion idea. (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.
Our ordinary judgments and our metaphysical theories share a common commitment to facts about resemblance. The nature of resemblance is, however, a matter of no small controversy. This essay examines some of the pressing questions that arise regarding the status and structure of resemblance. Among those to be discussed in what follows: what kinds of resemblance relations are there? Can resemblance be analyzed in terms of the sharing of properties? Is resemblance an objective or (...) subjective matter? What, if any, resemblance facts are fundamental? How does resemblance relate to naturalness? (shrink)
This paper examines a recent proposal for reviving so-called resemblance nominalism. It is argued that, although consistent, it naturally leads to trope theory upon examination for reasons having to do with the appeal of neutrality as regards certain non-trivial ontological theses.
Although there is universal consensus both in the science education literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called “the consensus view” about the nature of science (NOS), whose goal is to teach students only those characteristics of science on which there is wide consensus. This (...) is an attractive view, but it has some shortcomings and weaknesses. In this article we present and defend an alternative approach based on the notion of family resemblance. We argue that the family resemblance approach is superior to the consensus view in several ways, which we discuss in some detail. (shrink)
In §66 ofPhilosophical Investigations Wittgenstein looks for something common to various games and finds only an interconnecting network of resemblances. These are family resemblances. Sympathetic as well as unsympathetic readers have interpreted him as claiming that games form a family in virtue of these resemblances. This assumes Wittgenstein inverted the relation between being a member of a family and bearing family resemblances to others of that family. (The Churchills bear family resemblances to one another because they belong to the same (...) family, they don't belong to the same family because they resemble one another.) A close reading ofInvestigations gives no evidence that Wittgenstein made this mistake. Rather, family resemblances may play a role like the one criteria play for psychological terms. They give excellent but fallible evidence for membership in the extensions of some terms. (shrink)
In the traditions of narrative ethics and casuistry, stories have a well-established role. Specifically, illness narratives provide insight into patients’ perspectives and histories. However, because they tend to see fiction as an aesthetic endeavour, practitioners in these traditions often do not realize that fictional stories are valuable moral sources of their own. In this paper I employ two arguments to show the mutual relationship between bioethics and fiction, specifically, science fiction. First, both discourses use imagination to set a scene and (...) determine a perspective. Second, bioethics and science fiction share the family resemblance of expressing moral beliefs. I then consider how understanding bioethics and science fiction as interrelated discourses can be the basis of a methodology for inquiry into relational autonomy in the context of biotechnologies and medicine. As an example of this methodology, I analyse Fay Weldon’s novel The Cloning of Joanna May. (shrink)
In his (2002) Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra provides a powerful articulation of the claim that Resemblance Nominalism provides the best answer to the so-called Problem of Universals. Resemblance Nominalism has not been popular for some time, and one inﬂuential reason for this is the widespread belief that Resemblance Nominalism cannot dispense with all universals. The realist critics appeal to what is known as Russell’s Regress (cf. Russell 1997). If properties are to be explained in terms of one object’s resembling (...) another, then this seems to leave the relational property of resemblance itself unexplained. The critics’ objection is that this property itself must be explained by a dyadic universal of resemblance. (shrink)
This dissertation presents an objection to Wittgenstein's concept of family resemblances, three possible solutions to the objection, evaluations of the solutions, and a sketch of Wittgenstein's approach to the objection. My thesis is that none of the three proposed solutions is satisfactory, but that Wittgenstein can deal with the objection. ;Chapter I presents the Problem of the Under-Determination of Extension, the claim that family resemblances are not enough to explain the extension of a concept, since resemblances may be postulated between (...) cases falling under different concepts. ;Chapters II and III discuss three solutions proposed by commentators on family resemblances. The Basic Predicates Solution claims that points of family resemblance are sufficient conditions, and is incorrect since Wittgenstein denies that one can infer the applicability of a concept based on the presence of a resemblance to an instance of the concept. The Simple Properties Solution claims that only some concepts are family resemblance concepts, and depend upon concepts which are not family resemblance concepts, and is incorrect, since Wittgenstein does not require that family resemblance concepts be reducible to non-family resemblance concepts. The Bi-Directional Determination of Concepts Solution is the claim that a concept is determined by an interaction between facts about cases subsumed under it, and needs and purposes of language-users. This solution is non-Wittgensteinian by ignoring the ramifications of his concepts of grammar and language-games. ;Chapter IV argues that Wittgenstein deals with the original objection by developing new models for understanding language, involving the concepts of grammar and language-games. (shrink)
According to the quantificational Quinean model in meta-ontology, the question of ontology boils down to the question of whether a sortal property is exemplified. I address some complications that arise when we try to build a philosophical reconstruction of the link between individuals and kinds displayed in the exemplification relation from the point of view of conceptualism about kinds and having in mind this stand in ontology. I distinguish two notions of resemblance, object-to- object and object-to- kind, and show (...) the problems with both of them. Finally, I argue for a better awareness of the implicit "bias" involved in the very notion of "resemblance," without indulging in Quine's veto toward this notion. (shrink)
In the current literature on scientific explanation unification became unfashionable in favour of causal approaches. We want to bring unification back into the picture. In this paper we demonstrate that resemblance questions do occur in scientific practice and that they cannot be properly answered without unification. Our examples show that resemblance questions about particular facts demand what we call causal network unification, while resemblance questions about regularities require what we call mechanism unification. We clarify how these types (...) of unification relate to Philip Kitcher’s account, but also to causal and mechanistic accounts of explanation. (shrink)
Laws of nature concern the natural properties of things. Newton’s law of gravity states that the gravitational force between objects is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance; Coulomb’s law states a similar functional dependency between charged particles. Each of these properties confers a power to act as specified by the function of the laws. Consequently, properties of the same quantity confer resembling powers. Any theory that takes powers seriously must account (...) for their resemblance. This is the challenge set by the paper. The first part is devoted to Armstrong’s view according to which property resemblance reduces to partial identities between categorical properties. I argue that Armstrong’s solution to the challenge involves accepting determinable properties but that these should not be admitted. In the second part, I argue that dispositional essentialism can satisfactorily account for orderings among powers in terms of degrees of overlapping potentialities. (shrink)
Ben-Yami presents Wittgenstein’s explicit criticism of the Platonic identification of an explanation with a definition and the alternative forms of explanation he employed. He then discusses a few predecessors of Wittgenstein’s criticisms and the Fregean background against which he wrote. Next, the idea of family resemblance is introduced, and objections answered. Wittgenstein’s endorsement of vagueness and the indeterminacy of sense are presented, as well as the open texture of concepts. Common misunderstandings are addressed along the way. Wittgenstein’s ideas, as (...) is then shown, have far-reaching implications for knowledge of meaning and the nature of logic, and with them to the nature of the philosophical project and its possible achievements. (shrink)
In this paper we extend Wittgenstein’s notion of family resemblance to translation, interpretation, and comparison across traditions. There is no need for universals. This holds for everyday concepts such as green and qing 青, philosophical concepts such as emotion and qing 情, as well as philosophical categories such as form of life and dao 道. These notions as well as all other concepts from whatever tradition are family resemblance concepts. We introduce the notion of quasi-universal, which connects family (...)resemblance concepts from a limited number of traditions. The possibility and necessity of extending family resemblance concepts across traditions dissolves the false antinomy of universalism versus relativism. (shrink)
In "A Restriction for Pictures and Some Consequences for a Theory of Depiction", Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61, 4 (2003): 381-394, Michael Newall defended a resemblance view of depiction. He concentrated on pictures X involving a perpendicular view of the physical surface of another picture Y, and argued that the actual restrictions on what picture X can depict of Y's physical surface are best explained by a strict resemblance or similarity view. But I show that there (...) are many problems with his approach, so that overall it is no more successful than more standard resemblance views of depiction. (shrink)
The emergence of the Family Resemblance Approach to nature of science has prompted a fresh wave of scholarship embracing this new approach in science education. The FRA provides an ambitious and practical vision for what NOS-enriched science content should aim for and promotes evidence-based practices in science education to support the enactment of such vision. The present article provides an overview of research and development efforts utilizing the FRA and reviews recent empirical studies including those conducted in preservice science (...) teacher education as well as studies utilizing FRA to analyze NOS representations in curriculum documents and textbooks. The article concludes with implications and recommendations for future research and practice. (shrink)
This is a reply to Byeong-Uk Yi who argued that my _Resemblance Nominalism_ fails to account for sentences featuring abstract nouns like Carmine resembles vermillion more than it resembles French Blue and Scarlet is a colour. I accept his criticism of what I said in my book on Resemblance Nominalism about, but then I go on to show how can be accounted for. I reject his criticism of what I said in my book about. I also show how (...) class='Hi'>Resemblance Nominalism can account for other sentences featuring abstract nouns. (shrink)
What is the relation between the three following elements: words, pictures, and conceptual representations? And how do these three elements work, in defining and explaining metaphors? These are the questions that we tackle in our interdisciplinary contribution, which moves across cognitive linguistics, cognitive sciences, philosophy and semiotics. Within the cognitive linguistic tradition, scholars have assumed that there are equivalent and comparable structures characterizing the way in which metaphor works in language and in pictures. In this paper we analyze contextual visual (...) metaphors, which are considered to be the most complex ones, and we compare them to those that in language are called indirect metaphors. Our proposal is that a syllogistic mechanism of comprehension permeates both metaphors expressed in the verbal modality as well as metaphors expressed in the pictorial modality. While in the verbal modality the metaphoric syllogism is solved by inference, we argue that in the pictorial modality the role of inference is performed through mental imagery. (shrink)
Locke’s argument for the primary-secondary quality distinction is compared with Descartes’s argument (in the Principles of Philosophy) for the distinction between mechanical modifications and sensible qualities. I argue that following Descartes, Locke’s argument for the primary-secondary quality distinction is an essentially a priori argument, based on our conception of substance, and the constraints on intelligible bodily interaction that this conception of substance sets.
Hume argued that experience could not justify commonly held beliefs in singular causal effcacy, according to which individual or singular causes produce their effects or make their effects happen. Hume's discussion has been influential, as motivating the view that Causal reductionism (denying that causal efficacy is an irreducible feature of natural reality) requires Causal generalism (according to which causal relations are metaphysically constituted by patterns of events). Here I argue that causal reductionists---indeed, Hume himself---have previously unappreciated resources for making sense (...) of Causal singularism, associated with a relation that has been curiously underexploited in the causation debates: resemblance. The core idea I explore here is that causation may be metaphysically and epistemologically indicated by the coming-to-be of a resemblance. Comings-to-be of resemblances are epistemically available in the singular instance, even by Hume's strict lights, and, I argue, can justify (albeit fallibly) belief in the holding of singular causal relations; hence Hume's general argument for generalism fails. More to the contemporary metaphysical point, comings-to-be of resemblances provide valuable resources for existing singularist accounts: while neither changes (Ducasse) nor transfers of physical quantities (Fair, Dowe, Salmon) provide a suffciently fine-grained basis for the individuation of causes, either changes or transfers, in combination with comings-to-be of resemblances, can do so. (shrink)
Judgments of visual resemblance (‘A looks like B’), unlike other judgments of resemblance, are often induced directly by visual experience. What is the nature of this experience? We argue that the visual experience that prompts a subject looking at A to judge that A looks like B is a visual experience of B. After elucidating this thesis, we defend it, using the ‘phenomenal contrast’ method. Comparing our account to competing accounts, we show that the phenomenal contrast between a (...) visual experience that induces the judgment that A looks like B, and a visual experience that does not induce this judgment, is best explained by the fact that the former visually represents B, whereas the latter does not. (shrink)
There are two major theories of properties that employ resemblance classes to avoid commitment to universals.1 Object-resemblance nominalism ~ORN! faces the notorious companionship and imperfect community difficulties, though some costly remedies have been proposed. Trope-resemblance nominalism ~TRN!, in contrast, is commonly supposed to avoid these difficulties altogether. My contention is that both versions of resemblance nominalism are subject to companionship and imperfect community difficulties. If I am right, ~1! trope theory loses one of its primary selling (...) points, and ~2! resemblance nominalists of either type must appeal to the troublesome remedies that I discuss below. (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)
According to the resemblance account of 'what it's like' and similar constructions, a sentence such as 'there is something it’s like to have a toothache' means 'there is something having a toothache resembles'. This account has proved controversial in the literature; some writers endorse it, many reject it. We show that this conflict is illusory. Drawing on the semantics of intensional transitive verbs, we show that there are two versions of the resemblance account, depending on whether 'resembles' is (...) construed notionally or relationally. While well-known criticisms of the resemblance account undermine its relational version, they do not touch its notional version. On the contrary, the notional version is equivalent to various accounts usually interpreted as rivals to resemblance. We end by noting that this resolution of the controversy (a) explains why 'like', which is a comparative, appears in a construction that concerns the properties of events, and (b) removes any pressure to suppose that 'like' is ambiguous between a comparative and a non-comparative sense. (shrink)
I argue that Descartes takes true representation by means of concepts to involve resemblance between those concepts andtheir extra-mental objects. On the basis of analysis of a wide range of important Cartesian texts, I contend we must attribute to Descartes a doctrine of conceptualor intellectual resemblance, according to which ideas or concepts represent objects by resembling them. This doctrine of resemblance entails a further doctrine of property-sharing which, though inherently problematic for Cartesian ontology generally, is nonetheless supported (...) by Descartes’ use of the scholastic distinctionbetween formal and objective reality. (shrink)
Locke asserts that “the Ideas of primary Qualities of Bodies, are Resemblances of them, and their Patterns do really exist in the Bodies themselves; But the Ideas, produced in us by these Secondary Qualities, have no resemblance of them at all.”1 On an unsophisticated way of taking his words, he means that ideas of primary qualities are like the qualities they represent and ideas of secondary qualities are unlike the qualities they represent.2 I will show that if we take (...) his assertions in this unsophisticated way, our reward will be a straightforward and satisfying interpretation of the central arguments of his chapter on primary and secondary qualities. With these arguments, Locke attempts to justify his assertions about resemblance. Some may be skeptical, thinking that the assertions, interpreted literally, are either too absurd or too obvious to have reasons supporting them. I take this skepticism to rest on deep foundations of charity, so half of the paper will be devoted to undermining these foundations by giving a sympathetic and historical exposition of Locke’s positive thesis that primary qualities resemble the ideas that represent them. I criticize rival interpretations of Lockean resemblance, say what it means to believe that ideas resemble qualities, explain the plausibility of the belief in Locke’s environment, and examine his descriptions of how ideas resemble particular primary qualities. Once I establish that we should take Locke’s resemblance theses literally, I can describe their place in his theory of representation. After that, I can describe his reasons for believing the resemblance theses. I will conclude by showing how Locke’s belief that ideas of secondary qualities do not resemble anything in bodies leads him to conclude that secondary qualities are merely powers to produce ideas. Let me begin near the end, however. Before defending a literal interpretation of the resemblance theses, I want to criticize three rival interpretations.. (shrink)
Resemblance Nominalism About Perfect Naturalness is the view that perfect naturalness of classes is best defined by a conceptual primitive of resemblance between particulars. The adequacy of RNPN is defended by outlining nominalism as the strictly anti-constitutive view that the particulars’ being the fundamental ways they are is not constituted by anything further, supplying a doubly plural contrastive and graded resemblance predicate that allows for a definition of perfect naturalness on an actualist basis, and proving a representation (...) and a uniqueness theorem on the basis of a formal constraint on resemblance called “the Principle”, thereby revealing that bodies of nominalist resemblance facts are guaranteed to behave as if they were grounded in patterns of universals distributed over particulars. (shrink)
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)
Peter Kivy and Stephen Davies developed an influential and convincing account of what features of music cause listeners to hear it as expressive of emotion. Their view (the resemblance theory) holds that music is expressive of some emotion when it resembles human expressive behaviour. Some features of music, they believe, are expressive of emotion because of conventional associations. In recent years, Kivy has rejected the resemblance theory without adopting an alternative. This essay argues that Kivy has been unwise (...) to abandon the resemblance theory. New and compelling psychological evidence supports the theory. The essay also argues that new psychological evidence indicates that convention makes a smaller contribution to musical expressiveness than Kivy and Davies believe. (shrink)