, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 267–292

Quality Instances and the Structure of the Concrete Particular

  • Authors
  • Aaron Preston

DOI: 10.1007/s10516-004-6680-y

Cite this article as:
Preston, A. Axiomathes (2005) 15: 267. doi:10.1007/s10516-004-6680-y


In this paper, I examine a puzzle that emerges from what J. P. Moreland has called the traditional realist view of quality instances. Briefly put, the puzzle is to figure out how quality instances fit into the overall structure of a concrete particular, given that the traditional realist view of quality instances prima facie seems incompatible with what might be called the traditional realist view of concrete particulars. After having discussed the traditional realist views involved and the puzzle that emerges from their juxtaposition, I propose an alternative realist view of quality instances which resolves the puzzle. In short, the puzzle is solved by treating the distinction between a concrete particular and its quality instances as a distinction of reason, and by adopting the view that the individuating element of a concrete particular must also serve as its unifying element – a view which Moreland, one of traditional realism’s most stalwart contemporary defenders, rejects.


abstract particularsconcrete particularsJ. P. Morelandontologypart–whole relationpropertiesquality instancesrealismuniversals

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© Springer 2005