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Authors: Busse, Ralf
Title: Asymmetry cannot solve the circularity/regress problem of property structuralism
Online publication date: 3-Aug-2022
Language: english
Abstract: Strong dispositional monism (SDM), the position that all fundamental physical properties consist in dispositional relations to other properties, is naturally construed as property structuralism. J. Lowe’s circularity/regress objection (CRO) constitutes a serious challenge to SDM that questions the possibility of a purely relational determination of all property essences. The supervenience thesis of A. Bird’s graph-theoretic asymmetry reply to CRO can be rigorously proved. Yet the reply fails metaphysically, because it reveals neither a metaphysical determination of identities on a purely relational basis nor a determination specifically of identities in the sense of essences. Asymmetry is thus not by itself sufficient for a solution to CRO. But it cannot even help to answer CRO when a model for the determination of essences is taken as a basis. Nor is asymmetry necessary for a reply, as property structures may well be symmetric. A metaphysics of dispositional properties as grounded in a purely relational structure faces serious obstacles, and the properties would not be fundamental. Since essence and grounding are notions of metaphysical priority, there can be no essentially dispositional metaphysically fundamental properties, and the prospects of a “coherentist” metaphysics of basic properties are dim. A modal retreat that refrains from a post-modal conception of essence and simply claims that fundamental properties play dispositional roles by metaphysical necessity is unsatisfactory.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
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Journal: Synthese
Pages or article number: 10685
Publisher: Springer Science + Business Media B.V
Publisher place: Dordrecht u.a.
Issue date: 2021
ISSN: 1573-0964
Publisher DOI: 10.1007/s11229-021-03264-8
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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