Philosophical Studies

, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 259–295 | Cite as

Is reality fundamentally qualitative?

  • Andrew BaconEmail author


Individuals play a prominent role in many metaphysical theories. According to an individualistic metaphysics, reality is determined (at least in part) by the pattern of properties and relations that hold between individuals. A number of philosophers have recently brought to attention alternative views in which individuals do not play such a prominent role; in this paper I will investigate one of these alternatives.


Qualitative Haecceitism Nihilism Individuals 



Thanks to: Jeremy Goodman, Cian Dorr, and to two anonymous referees for this journal for some very helpful feedback. Thanks also to the audience of Metaphysics on the Mountain 2017; thanks, in particular, to my commenter, Louis deRosset, who provided me with some great feedback and spotted several mistakes.


  1. Bacon, J. (1985). The completeness of a predicate-functor logic. Journal of Symbolic Logic, 50(4), 903–926.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bacon, A. (2017). The broadest necessity. The Journal of Philosophical Logic. Scholar
  3. Bacon, A. (2018). Vagueness and thought. Oxford University Press (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  4. Bealer, G. (1989). On the identification of properties and propositional functions. Linguistics and Philosophy, 12(1), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Butterfield, J. (2006). On symplectic reduction in classical mechanics. In J. Earman, J. Butterfield (Eds.), The north holland handbook of philosophy of physics (pp. 1–131). Elsevier: North Holland.Google Scholar
  6. Carpenter, B. (1997). Type-logical semantics. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Curry, H. B. (1958). Combinatory logic. Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  8. Dasgupta, S. (2009). Individuals: An essay in revisionary metaphysics. Philosophical Studies, 145(1), 35–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dorr, C. (2016). To be F is to be G. Philosophical Perspectives, 30, 39–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Field, H. (1980). Science without numbers. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fine, K. (1977). Properties, propositions and sets. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 6(1), 135–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goodman, J. (2017). Theories of aboutness. Manuscript.Google Scholar
  13. Jacobson, P. (1999). Towards a variable-free semantics. Linguistics and Philosophy, 22(2), 117–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kuhn, S. T. (1983). An axiomatization of predicate functor logic. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 24(2), 233–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McGee, V. (1996). Logical operations. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 25(6), 567–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. O’Leary-Hawthorne, J., & Cortens, A. (1995). Towards ontological nihilism. Philosophical Studies, 79(2), 143–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pooley, O. (2013). Substantivalist and relationalist approaches to spacetime. In R. Batterman (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of philosophy of physics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Rayo, A. (2017). The world is the totality of facts, not of things. Philosophical Issues, 27(1), 250–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Russell, J. S. (2016). Qualitative grounds. Philosophical Perspectives, 30(1), 309–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Russell, J. S. (2017). Quality and quantifiers. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Scholar
  21. Sider, T. (2008). Monism and statespace structure. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 83(62), 129–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sider, T. (2011). Writing the book of the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Turner, J. (2011). Ontological nihilism. In K. Bennett & D. W. Zimmerman (Eds.), Oxford studies in metaphysics (pp. 3–54). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations