Events, Particularity, and Properties

Helen Steward

in The Ontology of Mind

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250647
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681318 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Events, Particularity, and Properties

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This chapter considers two theories of events which connect the category of event quite closely to the category of property by utilizing the notion of a property exemplification. Both Jaegwon Kim and Jonathan Bennett have defended views according to which events are exemplifications of properties; and though there are significant differences between the two accounts, both share the thought that events relate to properties not merely by having them, in the ordinary way in which anything which is characterizable in any manner at all can be said to have properties, but in a special way, whereby the event is deemed to be something whose identity is actually tied to some particular property (Kim) or to a collection of properties (Bennett). It is argued that views of this sort result in a conception of events on which they have really ceased to have any status as genuine particulars. Kim's events despite his frequent claim that they are particulars, are better classified as fact-like entities. And Bennett relies illicitly on a particularist conception of events in order to develop his anti-particularist theory of what they are, so that his view ultimately founders in incoherence.

Keywords: Jaegwon Kim; Jonathan Bennett; philosophy of mind; events; property

Chapter.  16192 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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