Properties and objects are everywhere, but remain a philosophical mystery. Douglas Ehring argues that the idea of tropes--properties and relations understood as particulars--provides the best foundation for a metaphysical account of properties and objects. He develops and defends a new theory of trope nominalism.
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)
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)
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)
The treatise attempts to approach and deal with some of the most fundamental problems facing anyone who wishes to uphold some version of the so-called theory of tropes. Three assumptions serve as a basis for the investigation: tropes exist, only tropes exist, and a one-category trope-theory along these lines should be developed so that the tropes it postulates are able to serve as truth-makers for all kinds of atomic propositions. Provided that these assumptions are accepted, it (...) is found that the trope-theorist will have to deal with two important problems. First, some atomic propositions seem to require universal truth-makers. Second, some atomic propositions seem to require concrete truth-makers. As tropes are abstract particulars, it follows that the trope-theorist, in order to fulfil assumption, must provide an account of exactly how he or she could construct universality and concreteness from his or her basic stock of tropes. In the treatise such constructions are attempted and some basic problems with such constructions are revealed. Although these problems are serious enough it is argued that it is nevertheless possible to deal with these basic issues while staying squarely within the boundaries of a one-category trope-ontology. (shrink)
Tropes are particular features of concrete objects. Properties—the extensions of predicates—are primitive resemblance classes of tropes. Friends of tropes have been criticized for failing to answer three questions. First, are there fundamental items other than tropes? Second, what criteria determine whether some tropes are all and only the features of some one object? Third, can trope classes be formed adequately using only primitive resemblance? Trading on the spatiotemporal status of tropes, this essay offers new (...) responses to each of these questions. The novel thesis is that there is a sui generis property called ‘markedness’, whose tropes “mark” certain locations in an ontologically basic way. The spatiotemporal distribution of markedness tropes fixes the distribution of familiar characterizing tropes like mass and charge, and characterizing tropes are bundled by being co-contained in the location of a maximally connected markedness trope. This novel theory of trope bundling is defended by appeal to theoretical utility: it is ontologically parsimonious and solves outstanding problems involving co-location and resemblance class construction. (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)
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 (...) class='Hi'>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)
I aim to synthesize two issues within theistic metaphysics. The first concerns the metaphysics of creaturely properties and, more specifically, the nature of unshareable properties, or tropes. The second concerns the metaphysics of providence and, more specifically, the way in which God sustains creatures, or sustenance. I propose that creaturely properties, understood as what I call modifier tropes, are identical with divine acts of sustenance, understood as acts of property-conferral. I argue that this *theistic conferralism* is attractive because (...) it integrates trope theory and the doctrine of sustenance in a mutually enhancing way. Taking modifier tropes to be divine acts mitigates certain weaknesses of trope theory and safeguards divine sustenance from the threat of both deism and occasionalism. (shrink)
There is a largely unrecognized ambiguity concerning the nature of a trope. Disambiguation throws into relief two fundamentally different conceptions of a trope and provides two ways to understand and develop each metaphysical theory that put tropes to use. In this paper I consider the relative merits that result from differences concerning a trope’s ability to ground the character of ordinary objects. I argue that on each conception of a trope, there are unique implications and challenges concerning character-grounding.
There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to the first one, perception is representational: it represents the world as being a certain way. According to the second, perception is a genuine relation between the perceiver and a token object. These two views are thought to be incompatible. My aim is to work out the least problematic version of the representational view of perception that preserves the most important considerations in favor of the relational view. According to (...) this version of representationalism, the properties represented in perception are tropes—abstract particulars that are logically incapable of being present in two distinct individuals at the same time. I call this view ‘trope representationalism’. (shrink)
Trope theory is the view that the world consists (wholly or partly) of particular qualities, or tropes. This admittedly thin core assumption leaves plenty of room for variation. Still, most trope theorists agree that their theory is best developed as a one-category theory according to which there is nothing but tropes. Most hold that ‘sameness of property’ should be explained in terms of resembling tropes. And most hold that concrete particulars are made up from tropes in (...) compresence (for an overview, including an introduction to some alternative versions of the view, cf. Maurin, 2014). D. M. Armstrong disagrees. He thinks the world is a world of immanent universals, the thin particulars in which those universals are instantiated, and the states of affairs that—thereby—exist. He holds that ‘sameness of property’ should be explained in terms of numerically identical universals or—if the resembling things are the universals themselves—in terms of partially identical universals. And he believes that concrete particulars are made up from ‘thin particulars’ in which a (sufficient) number of universals are instantiated. In spite of their disagreements, proponents of tropes owe Armstrong a debt of gratitude. First, for being one of the theory’s earliest, most serious, and—not least—most prominent, critics (Armstrong for the first time considers, and rejects, what he then labels ‘particularism’, in his 1978a). But also for being one of the theory’s most ardent champions. Already in his 1989a, Armstrong regrets his 1978-rejection of the view. Equivalence classes of exactly resembling tropes, he now admits, for most purposes “serve as an excellent substitute for universals” (Armstrong 1989a, 122). But then why isn’t Armstrong a trope theorist? In this paper, Armstrong’s main reasons for rejecting the trope view are critically scrutinized. All of them, it is maintained, fail to convince. If this argument is accepted, Armstrong seems to have no—or, at least, no good—reason for not accepting the existence of tropes. But, then, ought Armstrong to have been a trope theorist? If the ‘best’ version of the trope view turns out to be ontologically more parsimonious than Armstrong’s own theory of universals, then, yes. That there is a version of the trope view, a version that is not (or, at least not seriously) considered by Armstrong, that is ontologically more parsimonious than the universals view, is argued in the next section. Why none of Armstrong’s reasons for preferring universals to tropes manage to convince, is explained in the section after that. First, however, and in order to avoid a common misunderstanding of the trope view and, as a consequence, of why one ought to reject it, a few more words about the core-difference between tropes and universals, and about how this difference matters (as well as does not matter) to what—and how well—these theories explain. (shrink)
In their paper ‘Degrees as Kinds’, Anderson and Morzycki, demonstrate how certain constructions in a range of languages treat kinds, manners, and degrees alike. Their proposal is to identify degrees with kinds of states and they consider states to be interchangeable with tropes. In these comments, I will raise some issues about the interchangeability of (concrete) states and tropes as well as the category of concrete states as well as Anderson and Morzycki's analysis of the comparative.
A standard interpretation of Plato’s metaphysics holds that sensible particulars are images of Forms. Such particulars are fairly independent, like Aristotelian substances. I argue that this is incorrect: Platonic particulars are not Form images but aggregates of Form images, which are property-instances. Timaeus 49e-50a focuses on “this-suches” and even goes so far as to claim that they compose other things. I argue that Form images are this-suches, which are tropes. I also examine the geometrical account, showing that the geometrical (...) constituents of the elements are also Form images. Thus everything in the sensible world is composed of tropes. (shrink)
Philosophers who accept tropes generally agree that tropes act as the objects of reference of nominalizations of adjectives, such as 'Socrates’ wisdom' or 'the beauty of the landscape'. This paper argues that tropes play a further important role in the semantics of natural language, namely in the semantics of bare demonstratives like 'this' and 'that' in what in linguistics is called identificational sentences.
NPs with intensional relative clauses such as 'the impact of the book John needs to write' pose a significant challenge for trope theory (the theory of particularized properties), since they seem to refer to tropes that lack an actual bearer. This paper proposes a novel semantic analysis of such NPs on the basis of the notion of a variable object. The analysis avoids a range of difficulties that an alternative analysis based on the notion of an individual concept would (...) face. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is independent of (...) the notion of law, and can easily be adapted to account for such characteristics of mechanisms. The idea of tropes as mechanisms is worked out in some detail. According to the resulting picture, there is still an opportunity to link mechanisms and laws. But while the predominant law view conceives of mechanistic approaches as special kinds of law accounts, this study indicates that the converse may be true. Law accounts are special cases of mechanistic accounts, and they work only in those worlds where the mechanisms are of the right kind. (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.
Several difficulties, concerning the individuation and the variation of tropes, beset the initial classic version of trope theory. K. Campbell (Abstract particulars, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1990) presented a modified version that aims to avoid those difficulties. Unfortunately, the revised theory cannot make the case that one of the fundamental tropes, space-time, is a genuine particular.
The notion that there is a single type of entity in terms of which the whole world can be described has fallen out of favor in recent Ontology. There are only two serious exceptions to this. Factualists (Skyrms 1981, Armstrong 1997) hold that the world can be fully described in terms of facts. Trope theorists (Williams 1953, Campbell 1981, 1990) hold that it can be fully described in terms of tropes. Yet the relationship between facts and tropes remains (...) obscure in both camps’ writings. In this note, a distinction between (the names of) events and facts, due to Vendler and Bennett, is extended to distinguish between (the names of) tropes and facts. On its basis, a portrait of the domain of abstract particulars is sketched. The purpose is to contribute to our understanding of both forms of (if you will) metaphysical monism by offering a principled distinction between them. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to show, against certain versions of trope theory, that properties with analyzable particularity cannot be merely exactly similar: such properties are either particularized properties (tropes) that are dissimilar to every any other trope, or else universalized properties (universals). I argue that each of the most viable standard and nonstandard particularizers that can be employed to secure the numerical difference between exactly similar properties can only succeed in grounding the particularity of properties, that is, in (...) having properties be tropes, at the expense of ruling out the possibility of their exact similarity. Here are the four nonstandard particularizers that I examine: the genealogy of a property, the history of a property, the causal effects of a property, and the duration of a property. And here are the two standard particularizers that I examine: the bearer of a property, by which I mean either a bare particular or a spatiotemporal location, and the property itself, by which I mean that the property is self-particularized. In my concluding remarks, I explain that the only remaining hope for preserving the possibility of exactly similar tropes is regarding properties as primitively particular, and that this must mean not that properties are self-particularized but that they are particularized due to nothing. I close by arguing that this may not help trope theory after all. (shrink)
• Thesis to be defended: there are no tropes. • General argument: there are no good way to account for the particularity of tropes (which is essential to tropes). • Six views to be rejected: 1. Tropes particularized by their locations in formal spaces 2. Tropes as scattered particulars 3. Tropes particularized by their bearers 4. Tropes particularised by their constituents 5. Tropes particularized by their individual dependence to their bearers 6. (...) class='Hi'>Tropes as primitely particular . (shrink)
The revisionary metaphysician seemingly faces a seriously unfortunate dilemma where she is forced to choose between the Scylla of too little regimentation and the Charbydes of too much. Many take this to be an impossible dilemma, and regard it as a reductio against the revisionary framework itself. In this paper, I argue that the dilemma is not necessarily impossible. To be justified, ontological theorising must be regimented just enough. To escape the dilemma, therefore, the revisionary metaphysician must, to be able (...) to answer the question: -/- Why should one hold that the world is a world of tropes? -/- first answer another question: -/- Can revisionary theorising be regimented just enough? -/- I will address both these questions in the order here indicated. I will suggest that the now popular truthmaker theory might, if added to a revisionary framework, offer the resources necessary to obtain just the right amount of regimentation for its revisionary ontological conclusions to be justified. The world is a world of tropes if (minimally) tropes can fulfil their truthmaking function. That tropes can fulfil their truthmaking function only tells us that the world could be a world of tropes, it does not tell us why we should prefer a theory of tropes as truthmakers to a theory of, say, states of affairs, however. I therefore end the paper with a discussion of the limits of theory comparison in revisionary ontology. (shrink)
Table of Contents; Introduction by Francesco Orilia and Simone Gozzano; Modes and Mind by John Heil; Does Ontology Matter? by Anna-Sofia Maurin; Basic Ontology, Multiple Realizability and Mental Causation by Francesco Orilia; The “Supervenience Argument”:Kim’s Challenge to Nonreductive Physicalism by Ausonio Marras and Juhani Yli-Vakkuri; Tropes’ Simplicity and Mental Causation by Simone Gozzano; Zombies from Below by David Robb; Tropes and Perception by E. Jonathan Lowe; About the authors.
In this paper I first try to clarify the essential features of tropes and then I use the resulting analysis to cope with the problem of mental causation. As to the first step, I argue that tropes, beside being essentially particular and abstract, are simple, where such a simplicity can be considered either from a phenomenal point of view or from a structural point of view. Once this feature is spelled out, the role tropes may play in (...) solving the problem of mental causation is evaluated. It is argued that no solution based on the determinable/determinate relation is viable without begging the question as regards the individuating conditions of the related properties. Next, it is shown that Robb’s solution, much in the spirit of Davidson’s anomalous monism, entails abandoning the assumption that tropes are essentially simple, a consequence that I find not acceptable. My conclusion is that these entities are of no help in solving the problem of mental causation, and that a universalist approach should be preferred. (shrink)
This paper defends a distinction between ‘abstract states’ and ‘concrete states’, following Maienborn (2005, 2007) in her account of the peculiar semantic behavior of stative verbs. The paper proposes an ontological account of the notion of an abstract state and discusses how it relates to the notion of a trope or particularized property, which has so far been neglected in the semantic literature on stative verbs.
This article discusses a familiar version of trope theory as opposed to a familiar version of the theory of universals, examining how these two rivals address the problem of “attribute agreement”—a problem that has been at the root of the very reason for developing these theories in the first place. The article shows that there is not much of a difference between the ways these two theories handle the problem, and in a more general way it argues that there is (...) little reason for preferring one theory over the other. It is not interested in this claim only for the sake of the debate between trope theory and the theory of universals. Indeed, the reasons why it claims that it is so difficult to choose one theory over the other can be applied to other cases as well. (shrink)
This paper discusses one of the major problems for resemblance nominalism, posed by Bertrand Russell in 1911–12, and often referred to as Russell’s regress. It is the problem that resemblance must either be a universal, thus refuting a thorough nominalism, or must itself resemble other resemblances to count as a resemblance, which ultimately leads to an infinite regress of resemblances. I am going to discuss two solutions that have been proposed to this problem. I will then attempt to show in (...) how far these are unsatisfactory, and propose my own solution which treats resemblance as a subject-relative phenomenon. My aim is to show that, on my account, there is no infinite regress and therefore no problem. (shrink)
In this article I examine the compatibility of a leading trope bundle theory of substance, so-called Nuclear Theory, with trope theory more generally. Peter Simons (1994) originally proposed Nuclear Theory (NT), and continues to develop (1998, 2000) and maintain (2002/03) the view. Recently, building on Simons’s theory, Markku Keinänen (2011) has proposed what he calls the Strong Nuclear Theory (SNT). Although the latter is supposed to shore up some of NT’s weaknesses, it continues to maintain NT’s central tenet, the premise (...) that tropes are variously existentially interdependent. I argue that the central tenet of NT frustrates several important aims of trope theory. If my arguments go through, they also implicate SNT. Because of this, I largely set aside other aspects of NT and SNT and focus on their shared central tenet. (shrink)
A tropel is a particular property: the redness of a rose, the roundness of the moon. It is generally supposed that tropes are individuated by primitive quantity: this redness, that roundness. I argme that the trope theorist is far better served by individuating tropes by spatiotemporal relation: here redness, there roundness. In short, tropes are not this-suches but here-suches.
That there could be ontologically complex concrete particulars is self-evidently true. A reductio may however be formulated which contradicts this truth. In this paper I argue that all of the reasonable ways in which we might refute this reductio will require the existence of at least some tropes.
Nominalizations are expressions that are particularly challenging philosophically in that they help form singular terms that seem to refer to abstract or derived objects often considered controversial. The three standard views about the semantics of nominalizations are  that they map mere meanings onto objects,  that they refer to implicit arguments, and  that they introduce new objects, in virtue of their compositional semantics. In the second case, nominalizations do not add anything new but pick up objects that would (...) be present anyway in the semantic structure of a corresponding sentence without a nominalization. In the first and third case, nominalizations in a sense ‘create’ new objects’, enriching the ontology on the basis of the meaning of expressions. I will argue that there is a fourth kind of nominalization which requires a quite different treatment. These are nominalizations that introduce ‘new’ objects, but only partially characterize them. Such nominalizations generally refer to events or tropes. I will explore an account according on which such nominalizations refer to truth makers. (shrink)
I argue that a solution to puzzles concerning the relationship ofobjects and their properties – a version of the `bundle' theory ofparticulars according to which ordinary objects are mereologicalfusions of monadic and relational tropes – is also a solution topuzzles of material constitution involving the allegedco-location of material objects. Additionally, two argumentsthat have played a prominent role in shaping the current debate,Mark Heller's argument for Four Dimensionalism and Peter vanInwagen's argument against Mereological Universalism, are shownto be unsound given this (...) version of the bundle theory. (shrink)
This is an essay on Kant's neglected late tract On a Recently Adopted Prominent Tone in Philosophy (RTP) and Derrida's oblique commentary on this work in his D'un ton apocalyptique adopté naguère en philosophie. The theme of the essay is metaphilosophical and considers issues concerning the nature of critical philosophy, fanaticism (Schwärmerei), and the use of religious tropes in philosophy. I am primarily interested in the ways in which RTP thematises the legitimacy of speaking in an exalted, quasi-religious tone (...) apropos of the authority of Reason as a self-legitimising capacity in philosophical speech. An important additional reason for taking a closer look at this text is because the late Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) took a great interest in this work of Kant’s and, indeed, emphasised, rightly I think, that despite its prima facie rhetorically charged, polemical nature this work—which might at first be taken to be merely a lampoon—is anything but insignificant in Kant’s œuvre. Derrida’s On a Recently Adopted Apocalyptic Tone in Philosophy, originally published in 1983, is an oblique commentary on Kant’s RTP, and aims to expose to view the alleged hidden underpinnings of Kant’s polemic against exaltation or fanaticism (Schwärmerei) in philosophy. Derrida tries to show that Kant’s appeal for tonal moderation in philosophy, for a measured speech, which should rein in exalted modes of speech, is itself not neutral and rather fundamentally biased against an exalted, quasi-religious, manner of thought. It is evident that, as he himself notes early on in RTP, Kant is predisposed towards a more Aristotelian, academic kind of philosophy, which adopts a “proper” tone or pitch in philosophical debate, but Derrida claims that Kant himself raises his voice precisely in lampooning exalted thinkers. I am particularly interested in the extent to which Derrida’s critique manifests a fundamental misapprehension of the Kantian mode of moderating critique. By expounding this misapprehension, Kant’s own reasons for his philippic against religious or quasi-religious talk in philosophy are foregrounded, thus showing the nature of properly critical thought. At the same time, I shall show how Derrida underestimates the self-reflexivity, and hence properly critical, self-authorising mode of thinking, underlying his own oblique references to the adieu as a trope for quasi-transcendental intentionality towards the so-called ‘Other’. (shrink)
Terms such as 'wisdom' or 'happiness' are commonly held to refer to abstract objects that are properties. On the basis of a greater range of linguistic data and with the support of some ancient and medieval philosophical views, I argue that such terms do not stand for objects, but rather for kinds of tropes, entities that do not have the status of objects, but only play a role as semantic values of terms and as arguments of predicates. Such ‘non-objects’ (...) crucially differ from objects in that they are not potential bearers of properties. (shrink)
The topic of this paper is the perception of properties. It is argued that the perception of properties allows for a distinction between the sense of the identity and the sense of the qualitative nature of a property. So, for example, we might perceive a property as being identical over time even though it is presented as more and more determinate. Thus, you might see an object first as red and then as crimson red. In this case, the property is (...) perceived as identical over time, even though the sense of the qualitative nature (the redness, the crimson redness) of the property is changing. The distinction between the sense of identity and the sense of quality is explicated in terms of perceiving a particular property, a trope, and perceiving it as an instance of a universal. It is subsequently argued that the perceived tropes cannot constitute the phenomenal character of the perceptual experience. (shrink)
In this paper I want to show that topology has a bearing on the theory of tropes. More precisely, I propose a topological ontology of tropes. This is to be understood as follows: trope ontology is a „one-category”-ontology countenancing only one kind of basic entities, to wit, tropes. 1 Hence, individuals, properties, relations, etc. are to be constructed from tropes.
In this paper, I elaborate on the Strong Nuclear Theory (SNT) of tropes and substances, which I have defended elsewhere, using my metatheory about formal ontology and especially fundamental ontological form. According to my metatheory, for an entity to have an ontological form is for it to be a relatum of a formal ontological relation or relations jointly in an order. The full fundamental ontological form is generically identical to a simple formal ontological relation or relations jointly in an (...) order. Regarding generic identity, I follow Fabrice Correia and Alexander Skiles, who consider it a form of generalized identity as distinguished from numerical identity. The SNT states that for any trope to have the full fundamental ontological form is for it to be a strongly rigidly or generically (existentially) dependent individual simple part. Therefore, the common dichotomous set-up of asking whether tropes are fundamentally properties rather than objects or vice versa is a non-starter to me in formal ontological terms. The elaboration of the SNT also supplies me with the resources to respond to the arguments against tropes by Douglas Ehring, Robert K. Garcia and Herbert Hochberg. Finally, I argue that non-fundamentally but necessarily, every trope is a proper part of a substance and is concrete in the SNT. (shrink)
In this paper I examine whether the Humean denial of necessary connections between wholly distinct contingent existents poses problems for a theory of tropes. In section one I consider the substance-attribute theory of tropes. I distinguish first between three versions of the non-transferability of a trope from the substratum in which it inheres and then between two versions of the denial of necessary connections. I show that the most plausible combination of these views is consistent. In section two (...) I consider an objection to the bundle theory using the Humean doctrine that is advanced by Armstrong, and argue that it is unconvincing. In section three I return to the version of non-transferability that would cause obvious trouble for a substance-attribute theory, and less obvious trouble for a bundle theory. I argue that there is independent reason to reject this principle since, given a perdurantist metaphysic, it does not in fact secure what appeared to be its only benefit: namely that it allows tropes to act as truthmakers. I conclude that there is no objection to trope theory per se on the grounds that it brings commitment to necessary connections. (shrink)
Once we assume that objects are bundles of tropes, we want to know how the latter cohere. Are they held together by a substratum, are they linked by external relations or do they cling to one another by internal relations? This paper begins by exploring the reasons for eliminating the first two suggestions. Defending that the third option can be made plausible, it advances the following thesis: Maintaining that tropes are held in a compresence by appropriately qualified internal (...) relations avoids the consequence that such properties will be essential to the object. The specific targets of the second part of the paper include, first, a more precise description of the notion of a cohesive internal relation, and second, an explanation of how alteration is possible in an object the particular properties of which hold together by qualified internal relations. (shrink)
ABSTRACT A popular strategy for resolving Kim's exclusion problem is to suggest that mental and physical property tropes are identical despite the non-identity of the mental and physical properties themselves. I argue that mental and physical tropes can be identified without losing the dispositional character of mentality only if a dual-character hypothesis regarding the intrinsic characters of tropes is endorsed. But even with this assumption, the causal efficacy of the wrong dispositions is secured.
This paper effectively inverts the argument of an earlier paper of mine, “The Particularisation of Attributes”, to argue that there are no necessarily particularised and unshareable attributes of the sort that contemporary metaphysics calls tropes. In that earlier paper I distinguished two kinds of attributes, namely, properties and qualities, and argued that if there were tropes they could only be particularised qualities, i.e. particularisations of, say, redness, rather than particularisations of, say, being red. While continuing to hold that (...) there cannot be particularised properties—that the very notion is oxymoronic—I now hold, further, that the supposition of qualities in addition to properties is both ontologically extravagant and conceptually outlandish. Hence there are no qualities, and thus no tropes either. (shrink)
This paper explores corporate charitable giving disclosures in order to question the extent to which corporations can claim that their philanthropy activities are charitable at all. Exploration of these issues is carried out by means of a tropological analysis that focuses on the different linguistic tropes within the philanthropy disclosures of 52 companies, namely metaphor and synecdoche. The results reveal a number of complex and contradictory things. Primarily, the master metaphor of 'altruism' projected by the corporate disclosures is ideologically (...) at odds with the more business case-oriented discourse that shapes the disclosures. This contradiction is put into starker contrast by the existence of a root metaphor, whereby the recipients of corporate philanthropy are presented as the 'deserving poor'. Synecdochal devices are present within the corporate disclosures, whereby employee initiatives that are independent of corporate strategies are used to confer attributes onto the disclosures that bolster the master metaphor of 'altruism'. As such, corporate philanthropy is presented by the paper as a structurally incoherent discourse and yet one that has implications for both extracting greater value from various societal groups and in defining, on behalf of civil society, what is a worthy cause. (shrink)
In this paper I examine whether the Humean denial of necessary connections between wholly distinct contingent existents poses problems for a theory of tropes. In section one I consider the substance‐attribute theory of tropes. I distinguish first between three versions of the non‐transferability of a trope from the substratum in which it inheres and then between two versions of the denial of necessary connections. I show that the most plausible combination of these views is consistent. In section two (...) I consider an objection to the bundle theory using the Humean doctrine that is advanced by Armstrong, and argue that it is unconvincing. In section three I return to the version of non‐transferability that would cause obvious trouble for a substance‐attribute theory, and less obvious trouble for a bundle theory. I argue that there is independent reason to reject this principle since, given a perdurantist metaphysic, it does not in fact secure what appeared to be its only benefit: namely that it allows tropes to act as truthmakers. I conclude that there is no objection to trope theory per se on the grounds that it brings commitment to necessary connections. (shrink)
Intervening in the multidisciplinary debate on emotion, Tropes of Transport offers a fresh analysis of Hegel’s work that becomes an important resource for Pahl’s cutting-edge theory of emotionality. If it is usually assumed that the sincerity of emotions and the force of affects depend on their immediacy, Pahl explores to what extent mediation—and therefore a certain degree of manipulation but also of sympathy—is constitutive of emotionality. Hegel serves as a particularly helpful interlocutor not only because he offers a sophisticated (...) analysis of mediation, but also because, rather than locating emotion in the heart, he introduces impersonal tropes of transport, such as trembling, release, and shattering. (shrink)