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To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Ingvar Johansson <ingvar.johansson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Avril Styrman <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 18:27:23 +0200
Message-id: <1194712043.4735dbeb8610e@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Ingvar,     (01)

> However, even within the camp of immanent realism there are some 
> differences of opinion. Here are three ways in which my views differs 
> from Armstrong's:
> 1. Armstrong thinks that all natural-kind-universals 
> (substance-universals) can be reduced to property-universals; I think 
> this is impossible.    (02)

Yes, if everything is reduced to property, and not relation-universals, then
in this case there shold be some sorts of indivisible atoms that have these
properties. I also think that it is a more proseperous path to aim to reduce
everything on relations.    (03)

> 2. Armstrong thinks that there are no determinables, only determinates; 
> I think both are needed in order to make sense of mathematical physics. 
> That is, determinates (quantity values) exist only as 
> determinates-of-a-determinable (determinable = quantity dimension).    (04)

And this partly overlaps with your first point. The problems with e.g. an
absolutely determinate shade of red are clear. Consider that you have a red
car. The door of the car is red, but still there must be some variation,
even though very little, in the shades of red of different parts of the
door. Just how small can be the smallest possible coloured part? In the
atom-level there are no colours. It is hard to say from which perspective
should the colour be measured. But if I remember correctly, Armstrong
notified this problem in the book.     (05)

> 3. Armstrong thinks that if there are universals there are no tropes, 
> and vice versa; I think that in order to make sense of the world 
> ontologists have to postulate the existence of both universals and 
> tropes. (This view is sometimes called 'moderate realism'.)    (06)

Well, the central topic of ''Universals: An Opinionated Introduction'' is
the relations of e.g. the trope view and substance-attribute view. And this
can be called axiomatic ontology. If the problem of the substance-attribute
view is the bare particular, then the corresponding problem with the tropes
view is the bundling of the tropes. The bare particular connects the
universals, while some strange bundling property connects the tropes: the
same thing in two different aspects. Armstrong of course prefers the
substance-attribute view.     (07)

I took the liberty of omnipaging the first and second page of the
opinionated introduction, just to make the Peircists feel good about this.    (08)

Avril    (09)

************************************************************************    (010)

I. Introduction
The topic of universals is a very old one. It goes back to Plato at least,
perhaps to Socrates, perhaps to even earlier times. Those contemporary
philosophers who pay the matter attention often speak of the Problem of
Universals. So let me begin by saying what the problem is. It may turn out
that it is really a pseudo-problem. That was the opinion of Wittgenstein and
his followers, for instance. Quine is not far from thinking the same. But
whether it is a real problem or not should not be decided in advance.
A distinction that practically all contemporary philosophers accept was
drawn by the great U.S. nineteenth century philosopher, C. S. Peirce. He
originally used it in discussing semantics, but in fact it is a perfectly
general distinction applicable to any subject whatever. It is the
distinction between token and type. Let us follow Peirce and take a semantic
example. Consider the following display:    (011)

THE     THE    (012)

Now we ask the question: How many words are there in this display? It is
obvious that the question has two good answers: There are two words there.
There is only one word there.    (013)

Peirce would have said that there were two tokens of the one type.
Once one's attention is drawn to the distinction, one can see that it
applies not just to words but to almost everything. It applies to swans,
electrons, patches of color, revolutions. . . . The distinction is
ubiquitous. Think how it clarifies the ambiguity in the sentence `The two
ladies were wearing the same dress.'    (014)

The chief philosophical problem here is posed by sameness of type. Two
different things, different particulars, can be of the same type. But `same'
seems to be a very strong word. Does it not mean identical? We have in our
display two tokens of the same type, two instances of the same type, we can
also say. If `same' means identical here, then apparently there is something
about the two `the's that is identical. If we regard that conclusion with a
philosopher's eye, the eye that tries to spot the problems that lie in the
simplest things, in the most obvious things, the conclusion is rather
strange. The tokens are completely separate, after all. They are in two
different places. Could there really be something identical about them?
Some philosophers think that we just have to accept that the two `the's
involve something identical, something in common. After all, they argue, the
word `same' means identical, does it not? We just have to accept that the
two tokens are not, after all, totally separate. Such philosophers will say
that the two tokens have the same, the identical, property. What property?
It is that rather complex and hardto-pin-down property that makes each token
a token of a `the'.    (015)

I used to think that this line of thought had quite a bit of force, even if
it was not conclusive. But I do not think this now. In order to see why the
argument fails, let us look at a very interesting distinction concerning
identity, a distinction that was drawn by the eighteenth-century English
philosopher, Bishop Joseph Butler. Butler said that there are two senses of
the word `identity'. There is, he says, identity in the strict sense and
identity in "a loose and popular sense" (see "Of Personal Identity" in
Butler 1906). The problem that Butler was concerned with was that of
identity of persons and other objects over time, and although that problem
does not concern us directly in this book, we do need to consider it briefly
here in order to understand Butler's distinction.    (016)

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