Chapter

The individuation of tropes

Douglas Ehring

in Tropes

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608539
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729607 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608539.003.0004
The individuation of tropes

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The topic of this chapter is trope individuation. It is argued that trope individuation is a primitive, lacking any further reduction or analysis. A number of reasons for rejecting the principle that tropes are individuated spatio-temporally are presented, including the fact that the principle is incompatible with enduring tropes as it is with the possibility of time traveling enduring tropes and extended simple tropes. This chapter also includes a criticism of an argument in favor of the Spatio-Temporal Principle of individuation to the effect that that Principle is required by trope theory in order to block the “no-property-swapping” objection to trope theory. According to the latter objection, trope theory wrongly entails the possibility that exactly similar properties could have been swapped. The broader question of what kinds of tropes might exist is also considered. In particular, this chapter offers a critique of arguments from Campbell that are meant to rule out the possibility of “manifest,” medium-sized tropes.

Keywords: Individuation; Trope; Primitive; Spatio-Temporal; Swapping; Piles; Medium-sized

Chapter.  12126 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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