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Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics$
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D. M. Armstrong

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590612.001.0001

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(p.6) Chapter 2 Properties
Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics

David M. Armstrong

Oxford University Press

Objective properties defended against various Nominalisms: Predicate, Class, Resemblance, ‘Ostrich’ Nominalisms. Properties may be thought to be universals or particulars (tropes). This work takes them to be universals. Ordinary particulars can be taken to be bundles of properties, but this work takes properties to be attributes and always instantiated. The Platonic view of properties as otherworldly entities is rejected for an ‘Aristotelian’ account. The good properties are ‘sparse’ (David Lewis) and should be postulated on the basis of our best science. It is argued that properties are contingent beings. W.E. Johnson's distinction between determinable and determinate universals is introduced and it is argued that determinables are not universals.

Keywords:   properties, nominalism, universals, tropes, Plato, Aristotle, sparse properties, David Lewis, determinables, determinates, W.E. Johnson

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