Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (2017)
I argue in this dissertation that natural properties play a central role in David Lewis' modal realism. To argue in favor of this thesis I present: a bottom-up explanation of a top-down possible world metaphysics; a new definition of natural properties and natural fusion, a new mereological operation. To achieve these aims, in the first chapter, I contextualize the discussion, in the second I resume the discussion about universals in contemporary philosophy and argue that, considering the distinct formulations of the problem, class nominalism combined with modal realism might be the best solution. Furthermore, I discuss Devitt's solution in which he defends that the problem about universals is, in fact, a pseudo problem. In the third chapter, I introduce a minimal ontology of properties, regarding natural properties, I discuss the existing definitions, present a new one and discuss some theories of similarity, a notion that is in the core of the definition I propose. Besides, I present how natural properties benefit the definition of terms of nomological package, linked to its fundamentality role. I also present some applications related to the rationality role that encompass some well-known philosophical problems of the second half of 20th century. In the fourth chapter, I present some varieties of philosophical realism, I consider the theoretical advantages of taking scientific realism as background and I discuss one more utility of natural properties, the solution to the problem of eligibility of reference or, the Putnam's paradox. In the fifth chapter, I discuss how mereology is important to link several aspects of Lewis' modal realism. For such, I discuss the relation between composition as identity and ontological innocence of mereology and I present the natural fusion mereology, a new mereological operation that aims to minimize the problems of unrestricted composition.
Archival date: 2018-06-06
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