, Volume 193, Issue 8, pp 2353–2365 | Cite as

Intrinsicality and counterpart theory



It is shown that counterpart theory and the duplication account of intrinsicality—two key pieces of the Lewisian package—are incompatible. In particular, the duplication account yields the result that certain intuitively extrinsic modal properties are intrinsic. Along the way I consider a potentially more general worry concerning certain existential closures of internal relations. One conclusion is that, unless the Lewisian provides an adequate alternative to the duplication account, the reductive nature of their total theory is in jeopardy.


Intrinsicality Counterpart theory Modality Duplicate 



I would like to thank the audiences at Utrecht University, SIFA 2012 (Italy), the Northern Institute of Philosophy, and the University of St Andrews. I would also like to thank, in particular, Ralph Bader, Julia Langkau, Thomas Müller, and Elia Zardini, for very helpful discussion. This research was funded by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC Grant agreement nr 263227.

Compliance with ethical standards

Human and animal participants

The author hereby declares that the research carried out in the production of the submitted manuscript involved no human participants and no animals.

Conflict of interest



  1. Francescotti, R. (1999). How to define intrinsic properties. Noûs, 33(4), 590–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hawthorne, J. (2001). Intrinsic properties and natural relations. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 63(2), 399–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Langton, R., & Lewis, D. (1998). Defining ‘intrinsic’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 58(2), 333–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Langton, R., & Lewis, D. (2001). Marshall and Parsons on ‘intrinsic’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 63(2), 353–355.Google Scholar
  5. Lewis, D. (1968). Counterpart theory and quantified modal logic. Journal of Philosophy, 65(5), 113–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lewis, D. (1973). Counterfactuals. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Lewis, D. (1983). Extrinsic properties. Philosophical Studies, 44, 197–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lewis, D. (1986). On the plurality of worlds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  9. Marshall, D., & Parsons, J. (2001). Langton and Lewis on “intrinsic”. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 63(2), 347–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Weatherson, B. (2001). Intrinsic properties and combinatorial principles. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 68(2), 365–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Witmer, D. G., Butchard, W., & Trogdon, K. (2005). Intrinsicality without naturalness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 70(2), 326–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

Personalised recommendations