Substrata and Properties: From Bare Particulars to Supersubstantivalism?
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The theory of the ontological constitution of material objects based on bare particulars has recently experienced a revival, especially thanks to the work of J.P. Moreland. Moreland and other authors belonging to this ‘new wave’, however, have focused primarily on the issue whether or not the notion of a ‘bare’ particular is internally consistent. Not much has been said, instead, about the relation holding between bare particulars and the properties they are supposed to unify into concrete particulars. This paper aims to fill this gap and, making reference primarily to Moreland’s version of the theory, highlight some aspects and consequences of it that have not received due attention so far. It is argued that, given a number of seemingly plausible metaphysical assumptions, supporters of bare particulars are led to either endorse supersubstantivalism—the view that material objects are identical with regions of space–time—or abandon their theory altogether. Whatever one makes of the proposed conclusion, a dialectical structure emerges that puts precise constraints on bare particular ontologies and, therefore, will have to be taken into account in future discussion of these and related topics.
KeywordsBare particular Substratum Property Identity Supersubstantivalism
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