Logical Combinatorialism

Philosophical Review 129 (4):537-589 (2020)
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Abstract
In explaining the notion of a fundamental property or relation, metaphysicians will often draw an analogy with languages. The fundamental properties and relations stand to reality as the primitive predicates and relations stand to a language: the smallest set of vocabulary God would need in order to write the “book of the world.” This paper attempts to make good on this metaphor. To that end, a modality is introduced that, put informally, stands to propositions as logical truth stands to sentences. The resulting theory, formulated in higher-order logic, also vindicates the Humean idea that fundamental properties and relations are freely recombinable and a variant of the structural idea that propositions can be decomposed into their fundamental constituents via logical operations. Indeed, it is seen that, although these ideas are seemingly distinct, they are not independent, and fall out of a natural and general theory about the granularity of reality.
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First archival date: 2019-08-26
Latest version: 2 (2020-01-24)
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