Tropes, Universals and Visual Phenomenology

Theoria 87 (2):435-456 (2020)
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Both philosophers of perception and analytic metaphysicians apply the tropes/universals distinction when considering the ontological status of visual properties. One way of arguing in favor of the trope interpretation of visual properties is to claim that the way in which we visually experience properties makes it plausible to characterize them as tropes. In this paper, I argue for a different position, namely that the way in which we visually experience properties provides a serious challenge for the trope interpretation, but not for an interpretation in terms of universals. More specifically, I claim that the trope interpretations of visual properties have problems accounting for the fact that ordinary, veridical visual experiences can present the properties of two objects as strictly similar.

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Błażej Skrzypulec
Jagiellonian University


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