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Thursday, April 14, 2016

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cf. Universals: An Opinionated Introduction, Westview Press, 1989, pp. 98-99.

A terse comment but a good one.

The reference supports my claim that Moreland hasn't properly represented Armstrong's position. Moreland's misrepresentation, however, has a clear sense, which is more than can be said for Armstrong's theory. To lay this out properly would make a good separate post.

To anticipate, Armstrong is in a bind. On the one hand, as a naturalist, he cannot have his universals up in Plato's heaven; they must be in some sense 'in' the space-time world. On the other hand, "Space-time is not a box into which universals are put." (99) Nosiree, Dave!

But the world for A. is a world of states of affairs, and universals are constituents of states of affairs. So A. weasels out by saying that universals are in space-time "by helping to constitute it." (99)

The problem is that many STOAs are thick particulars and the latter are all spatiotemporal. So universals are in thick particulars. How can a naturalist cash out this 'in' if not spatially?

That being said, it is said with respect: the late, great David Armstrong is the Real Thing. May peace be upon him.

So A. weasels out by saying that universals are in space-time "by helping to constitute it."

Is this a direct paraphrase from Armstrong's reply to Magalhaes? Hah.

The problem is that many STOAs are thick particulars and the latter are all spatiotemporal. So universals are in thick particulars. How can a naturalist cash out this 'in' if not spatially?

Well, middle Armstrong isn't worried about multi-located properties: “For why should we not think of them as multiply located?” (“Can a Naturalist Believe in Universals?”). Since he reduces internal relations using the usual argument, he's also not worried about multi-located internal relations. He's worried about multi-located external relations.

He figures there are probably at most two external relations: spatiotemporal relations and causal relations. He's not worried about spatiotemporal relations, because even though they're not “in” space-time they help constitute it.

That leaves causal relations. He suggests dealing with them by analyzing spatiotemporal relations in terms of causal relations. (I think he goes further than he needs here. He could collapse temporal relations into causal relations, and keep spatial relations.) Then even though causal relations aren't “in” space-time, they help constitute it.

Just one quibble with your post.

Under the heading: "Three Views" you state that for Moreland: There are ontological parts in addition to ordinary spatial parts and they too are spatial.

I'm not sure if you mean that this is Moreland's view of the "impure realist" or if this is Moreland's view on this issue.

I think that Moreland defends what he calls a "pure realist" view, e.g. "Pure realists, such as Reinhardt Grossmann, hold to a nonspatial (and atemporal) view of exemplification. Redness is “in” Socrates in the sense that Socrates has or exemplifies redness within its very being. But neither redness nor the exemplification relation itself is spatial. But doesn’t it make sense to say that redness is at the place where Socrates is? No, says the pure realist. The way to understand this relation is to say that Socrates, the red dot, is indeed spatially located on a page, and redness is surely “in” Socrates, but this “in” is not a spatial relationship (e.g., to say redness is on a page is to say that redness is “in” a spot and the spot is on a page). Properties are not in the concrete particulars that have them in the same way sand is in a bucket. The predication or exemplification relation is not a spatial container type of relationship." "Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview"(p. 209). Intervarsity Press.

On another note, would the issue regarding numerical difference for individuation be solved by appeal to bare particulars?

TM,

If you are suggesting that I misrepresented Moreland's position at the end of my post, then I think you are right. I should probably delete or modify that last section.

But I am quite sure that JP has misrepresented Armstrong.

Bare particulars have been introduced by Bergmann and others to explain what makes two concrete particulars two, whether or not they also differ property-wise. But BPs are highly problematic, so 'solved' is too strong a word.

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