Determinables and Brute Similarities

In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Ingvar Johansson has argued that there are not only determinate universals, but also determinable ones. I here argue that this view is misguided by reviving a line of argument to the following effect: what makes determinates falling under a same determinable similar cannot be distinct from what makes them different. If true, some similarities — imperfect similarities between simple determinate properties — are not grounded in any kind of property-sharing. I suggest that determinables are better understood as maximal disjunctions of brutely and imperfectly similar determinates. Such brute similarities have been thought to clash with realism about universals. I argue that this worry stems from the mistaken assumption that perfect and imperfect similarities are relations of a same kind. If exact and inexact resemblances are distinct and heterogeneous explananda, the realist about universals might explain the first thanks to property-sharing, while happily leaving imperfect similarities between properties unexplained.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2013-03-05
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
A Treatise of Human Nature.Hume, David & Lindsay, A. D.
Abstract Particulars.Campbell, Keith

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
656 ( #5,579 of 50,080 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
44 ( #13,914 of 50,080 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.