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Quote for the month. February 2016

We are interested in the possibilities for this world, in particular we are interested in the mere possibilities, the ones 'over and above' the actualities. These possibilities are all of them (merely possible) states of affairs. Given our general approach, the only other candidates for possibilities, it appears, are particulars without any properties or relations (totally bare particulars) and properties and relations that are not instantiated. Are such things possible? It has already been argued, against more substantialist conceptions, that properties are ways that things are and relations ways things stand to each other. If this is correct, then uninstantiated properties and relations are very strange beings indeed. For they will be ways that are ways that nothing is. Can we take such ways with ontological seriousness? Similarly, totally bare particulars would seem to be strange entities. What would a thing be that had no vestige of a nature and no relation to anything else?
D. M. Armstrong, A world of states of affairs, 1997.


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