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Wednesday, February 10, 2016


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The problem with your paper was that I found it too obscure to comment on. And now you've dumped what looks like most of your paper into my combox.

We won't makes any progress this way.

Comments need to be very short and to the point and directed at what I say in the post above. You could begin by telling me whether you think I have fairly represented Moreland's theory in the first section of my post, and if not why not.

Hi Bill.

Thanks for your patience with my first post. Feel free to delete the paper excerpt, if it is unhelpful in our conversation.

Ok. So let me start with something you say above about your representation of Moreland's theory.

"On Moreland's theory, as I understand it, this problem is solved by adding a secondary constituent, the exemplification relation, call it EX, whose task is to connect the primary constituents."

I'm not sure on Moreland's view that EX is simply "added" as a third sort of thing. EX is a basic/primitive relation which exists when any universal, including EX itself is present in a particular. The universal, particular relation is the exemplification relation.

So, in any particular "Al being fat", there are three things:

1) an individuator (a bare particular for Moreland),
2) an instance of a universal (fatness in this case) present in the particular by means of EX,
3) an instance of EX relation.

There is an "internality" to these three things.

1 and 2 stand in an internal relation to one another because of the particular instance of EX. If either 1 or 2 were separated from this instance of EX, they would quit existing as these particular instances (although the universal fatness would still exist and other particular instances of fatness would exist if exemplified by another particular, say Alice).

Further 3 is related (by its own nature as an instance of EX) to 1 and 2 internally as well. If this particular instance of EX were removed from 1 and 2, it would cease existing (although the universal EX would still exist, and other particular instances of EX would exist if exemplified by other contingent particulars).

That's why I think that understanding instances of EX as internal (as opposed to external) relations might cut off the Bradleyan regress that you raise, which seems to rest on viewing EX as one more constituent in a set of constituents standing in some sort of external relation.


Can you cite me passage and verse where JP says these things?

Dear Bill:

I don't think Moreland puts my rejoinder to your version of the Bradleyan objection in they precise way that I put it.

I am trying to put together a "Morelandian" response from what I understand his view to be. (I may be mis-understanding his views altogether.)

In his book Universals (Moreland, J.P. 2001, Universals, Chesham, UK: Acumen Press), Moreland says a few things that I derived my comment from:

"First, “the F of a” can be assayed as a complex entity. Realists like Gustav Bergmann would assay “the redness of Socrates” as the universal redness, the nexus of exemplification, and an individuator; in his case, a bare particular. “The redness of Socrates” is a fact or state of affairs. Realists are concerned to ground both the universal nature (redness) and the particularity (red1 or “this redness”) in a quality-instance (p. 14)."

"[A]dvocates of bare particulars distinguish two different senses of being bare along with two different ways that something can have a property. In one sense, an entity is bare if and only if it has no properties in any sense. Now bare particulars are not bare in this sense. They do not exist unless they possess properties (p. 93)."

"In contrast, bare particulars are simple and properties are linked or tied to them. This tie is asymmetrical in that some bare particular x has a property F and F is had by x. A bare particular is called “bare”, not because it comes without properties, but in order to distinguish it from other particulars like substances and to distinguish the way it has a property (F is tied to x) from the way, say, a substance has a property (F is rooted within x). Since bare particulars are simples, there is no internal differentiation within them. When a property is exemplified by a bare particular, it is modified by being tied to that particular. Thus, bare particulars have a number of properties (e.g. being red), and they have some properties necessarily (e.g. particularity), in the sense that a bare particular can exist only if it has certain properties tied to it. Now, this fact about bare particulars neither makes them identical to their properties nor does it entail that properties are constituents within a bare particular. Just because a man never comes out of his house naked, it does not follow that he is his clothes or that they compose him as constituents" (pp. 93-94).

"When redness has red1 has one of its instances, this is due to the fact that some entity (a bare particular) outside the nature of redness has entered into an exemplification relation with redness. Something happens to redness, namely, it is modified and becomes exemplified (p. 102).

"Bare particulars are simples with properties tied to them. The reason Socrates and Plato need individuators is that they share all their pure properties in common, pure properties are universals, and neither impure properties nor spatial locations or external relations can do the job required of individuators. But the bare particulars a and b in Socrates and Plato are simples and, as a matter of primitive fact, they simply come individuated, even if properties are necessarily tied to them in that they could not exist without properties. (p. 155)

"A closely related, although better theory of existence is this: existence is the having of a property or the being had by a property. On this view, one can define what it is for some entity x to come to be as follows: there is at least one property P which is such that x has P and there is no property Q which is such that x had Q. So much for this gloss on what existence is. If this view or some relevantly similar cousin is correct, then it would entail that bare particulars cannot exist without properties. In order to avoid the appearance of being ad hoc or begging the question, it is important to say that the type of theory of existence being suggested should be formulated in light of broad, general ontological issues and then applied to the question of bare particulars (p. 157).

In another paper, "Grossman on Property-Instances and Existence: Suarez's Way Out," (in Studies on the Ontology of Reinhardt Grossmann edited by Javier Cumpa Arteseros (Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2010), pp. 177-90, Moreland says:

"According to most realists, when a universal is exemplified by a particular to form a complex entity, then this complex entity is itself a particular. Similarly, if a universal is exemplified by a spatio-temporal entity, the complex whole that is formed is itself spatio temporal. The universal is "in" the complex whole, but this relation is not itself spatio-temporal one nor is at least one of the entitites (the universal) it relates. Thus, the complex moment whiteness1, can be a spatio-temporal particular while two of its constituents remain abstract" (p. 182-183).

"A property's being had by something (belonging to something) is not itself a property. It is modally distinct from both the property and the something. If x has P, the-having-of-P-by-x (alternatively, P's being had by x, x's having P, x and P, and P entering into the nexus of exemplification with each other) is modally distinct from both P and x. It is a mode of both P an x and, and, as such, it is an inseparable particular. And since x, every bit as much as P enters into the nexus of exemplification, x (and individuals in general) exist" (p. 189-190).


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