Intrinsic/Extrinsic: A Relational Account Defended

In Robert M. Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter. pp. 175-198 (2014)
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In "How to Define Intrinsic Properties" I offered a relational account of the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction. The basic idea is that F is an intrinsic property of an item x just in case x’s having F consists entirely in x’s having certain internal properties, where an internal property is one whose instantiation does not consist in one’s relation to any distinct items (items other than oneself and one’s proper parts). I still think that this relational analysis is largely correct, and here I provide additional support for it and defend it against some objections that have been raised. In the process I aim to make the account somewhat more precise, especially by contrasting it with a grounding approach to defining the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction.

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Robert Francescotti
San Diego State University


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