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Recombining non-qualitative reality

  • Sam CowlingEmail author


Haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum are each controversial theses about necessity and possibility. According to haecceitism, there are qualitatively indiscernible possible worlds that differ only with respect to which individuals occupy which qualitative roles. According to Hume’s Dictum, there are no necessary connections between distinct entities or, as Humeans sometimes put it, reality admits of “free recombination” so any entities can co-exist or fail to co-exist. This paper introduces a puzzle that results from the combination of haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum. This puzzle revolves around the free recombination of non-qualitative properties like being Socrates. After considering several responses to this puzzle, I defend an ideology-driven solution, which dispenses with non-qualitative properties like being Socrates in favour of primitive theoretical ideology while, at the same time, preserving a commitment to both haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum.


Modality Recombination Haecceitism 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Denison UniversityGranvilleUSA

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