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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

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Thanks for the excellent comments, Bill!

My argument that trope theory in the bundle version has a problem with non-substantial change and that SOA-ontology hasn’t, presupposes that endurantism is true. I’m generally neutral on this dispute in the book, so the argument isn’t one I’m crazy about in the first place.

But let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that endurantism is true. Which of the propositions in your aporetic sextad do I reject? The answer is (3) or (4), or both.

As to (3), I'd hold that it’s the bare particular that changes from green to red, as you rightly suggest, while acknowledging the difficulty of spelling this view out. But I doubt that this is in any way a pre-theoretical datum. More plausibly, there is a pre-theoretical datum that the ripening tomato is a thick particular, though I’m not sure about that either.

The only indubitable pre-theoretical datum in the problem is (2). On SOA-ontology this datum is made true by the bare particular of the tomato instantiating green at t and red at t* - thick particulars don’t enter the picture at all.

As to (4), well, in my view, thick particulars aren’t real SOAs, merely apparent ones. It’s true that I assay a thick particular as the instantiation of N, the conjunctive property that is the conjunction of its intrinsic properties. But I also argue that conjunctive properties are truthmaking reducible (TM-reducible) - i.e. only existing at the level of truths, not at the level of truthmakers - and that the instantiation (‘instantiation’) of a TM-reducible property isn’t a real SOA.

Thank you for the prompt response, Bo.

As I read deeper into your book this morning, I realized that thick particulars, assayed as STOAs, are for you merely apparent. So, yes, you would deny (4) above. I think this leads to trouble, however. I will explain why in a separate post.

As for (3), we may face a dilemma. Trouble arises whether we say it is the thick particular that changes or the thin particular. Surely it is strange and unempirical to say that a visible change is a change in an invisible substratum. More later.

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