On Tropic Realism

Ilkka Niiniluoto

in Categories of Being

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199890576
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980031 | DOI:
On Tropic Realism

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This chapter gives a survey of an ontological doctrine, trope theory, which has been claimed to furnish the world with the “elements of being”. Tropes as property-instances have been proposed as a serious alternative to universals. Even though tropes thus have a nominalist flavour, the theory can be called “tropic realism”, as it has potential for supporting an adequate formulation of critical scientific realism. Trope theory is here related to another ontological view, Popper’s conception of three worlds: while bundles of tropes constitute physical objects in World 1, properties as classes of similar tropes can be taken to exist in the human-made World 3. Trope theory has also interesting applications in the history of philosophy.

Keywords: nominalism; ontology; property; universals; worlds; objects; tropic realism

Chapter.  6172 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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