Is Shepherd a Bundle Theorist?

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 21 (3):229-253 (2023)
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Shepherd appears to endorse something like the following biconditonal regarding qualities and objects. □(An object, O, exists ↔ Some bundle of qualities, Q1, Q2, … Qn exists). There is a growing consensus in the secondary literature that she also takes the right side of this biconditional to ground the left side. I.e. Shepherd is a bundle theorist who takes an object to be nothing but a mass of qualities, or causal powers. I argue here that despite appearances, this interpretation reverses Shepherd's actual view. I.e. I argue that for Shepherd qualities, or causal powers, are grounded in the intrinsic constitutions of objects. In the case of "external objects", these intrinsic constitutions are unknowable to us; in the case of "internal objects", we have direct knowledge of them.

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David Landy
San Francisco State University


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