Immanent realism and states of affairs

In A. R. J. Fisher & Anna-Sofia Maurin (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Properties. London: Routledge (2024)
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This chapter considers the ‘hosting question’ of how immanent universals, in contrast to transcendent universals, are ‘brought down to earth’ from ‘Plato’s heaven’. It explores the thesis that the hosting amounts to their being constituents of the states of affairs that result from their instantiations. These states of affairs are concrete complexes consisting of particulars and universals, and perhaps something that links them together. The traditional view that immanent universals are concrete is briefly defended against a recent prominent objection. On relationalism, states of affairs are unified by a relation of some sort; on non-relationalism they are unified non-relationally. Roughly, these two conceptions of states of affairs are equivalent to Armstrong’s relational and non-relational versions of immanent realism, respectively. Armstrong mostly criticises the former and defends the latter. It is argued, however, that relationalism, at least potentially, answers the hosting question, whereas non-relationalism realism does not.

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Bo R. Meinertsen
University of Sheffield


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