Lowe’s Eliminativism about Relations and the Analysis of Relational Inherence

In Jonathan Lowe and Ontology (forthcoming)
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Contrary to widely shared opinion in analytic metaphysics, E.J. Lowe argues against the existence of relations in his posthumously published paper There are probably no relations (2016). In this article, I assess Lowe’s eliminativist strategy, which aims to show that all contingent “relational facts” have a monadic foundation in modes characterizing objects. Second, I present two difficult ontological problems supporting eliminativism about relations. Against eliminativism, metaphysicians of science have argued that relations might well be needed in the best a posteriori motivated account of the structure of reality. Finally, I argue that, by analyzing relational inherence, trope theory offers us a completely new approach to relational entities and avoids the hard problems motivating eliminativism.
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Relations.MacBride, Fraser

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