Substance and Attribute: A Study in Ontology

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 30, 1978 - Philosophy - 187 pages
In this book I address a dichotomy that is as central as any in ontology - that between ordinary objects or substances and the various attributes (Le. , properties, kinds, and relations) we associate with them. My aim is to arrive at the correct philosophical account of each member of the dichotomy. What I shall argue is that the various attempts to understand substances or attri butes in reductive terms fail. Talk about attributes, I shall try to show, is just that - talk about attributes; and, likewise, talk about substances is just tha- talk about substances. The result is what many will find a strange combina tion of views - a Platonistic theory of attributes, where attributes are univer sals or multiply exemplifiable entities whose existence is independent of "the world of flux", and an Aristotelian theory of substance, where substances are basic unities not reducible to metaphysically more fundamental kinds of things. Part One is concerned with the ontology of attributes. After distinguishing three different patterns of metaphysical thinking about attributes, I examine, in turn, the phenomena of predication, resemblance, and higher order quanti fication. I argue that none of these phenomena by itself is sufficient to establish the inescapability of a Platonistic interpretation of attributes. Then, I discuss the phenomenon of abstract reference as it is exhibited in the use of abstract singular terms.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

ATTRIBUTEAGREEMENT AND THE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSALS
3
The Nature of the Debate
8
PREDICATION AND UNIVERSALS
13
II Alleged CounterExamples to I
15
The Alleged Circularity of I
21
IV I and Infinite Regresses
22
V The Reference of PredicateTerms
27
VI The Truth of SubjectPredicate Discourse
33
TWO THEORIES OF SUBSTANCE
107
II Bundles Clusters and Collections
112
Bare Substrata Revisited
115
THE BUNDLE THEORY
121
II Identity and Change
124
III SubjectPredicate Discourse
126
IV The Identity of Indiscernibles
131
V Russells Way Out
134

RESEMBLANCE AND UNIVERSALS
44
II The Alleged Incompleteness of ResemblanceClaims
47
III The Ground of Resemblance
49
ABSTRACT REFERENCE AND UNIVERSALS
54
II Abstract Singular Terms
61
III Extreme Nominalism and Abstract Singular Terms
65
IV Nonminalism and Abstract Singular Terms
73
V The Metalinguistic Interpretation of Abstract Singular Terms
77
VI Conclusion
86
TOWARDS A REALISTIC ONTOLOGY
89
II Universals as Necessary Beings
92
III More Platonism
96
IV The IdentityConditions for Universals
99
V How Many Universals Are There?
101
VI Conclusion
102
SUBSTANCES
105
BARE SUBSTRATA
140
II Empiricism and Bare Substrata
143
III The Inconsistency of Substratum Ontologies
146
IV Bare Substrata and Essential Properties
147
V Modified Substrata and Individuation
149
TOWARDS A SUBSTANCETHEORY OF SUBSTANCE
153
II Substances and Their Kinds
158
A SubstanceTheory of Substance
163
IV Essentialism
166
V Sbustances and Their PArts
170
VI Genera and Species
173
VII Individual Essences
175
EPILOGUE
181
INDEX OF NAMES
183
INDEX OF SUBJECTS
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information