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International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

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Why Realists Need Tropes

Markku Keinänen
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  • University of Helsinki, PL 24 (Unioninkatu 40 A, 6. krs), 00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki, Finland
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/ Jani Hakkarainen / Antti Keskinen
Published Online: 2016-03-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2016-0006


We argue that if one wishes to be a realist, one should adopt a realist ontology involving tropes instead of a Russellian ontology of property universals and objects. Either Russellian realists should adopt relata-specific relational tropes of instantiation instead of facts, or, better, convert to Neo-Aristotelian realism with monadic tropes. Regarding Neo-Aristotelian realism, we have two novel points why it fares better than Russellian realism. (1) Instantiation of property universals by tropes, and characterisation or inherence between tropes and objects, are more transparent ontological notions than relational inherence, which is assumed in Russellian realism with the relational tropes of instantiation. (2) Neo-Aristotelian realism makes better sense about abstract universals, which are a more viable option than concrete universals.

Keywords: metaphysics; ontology; realism; universals; tropes


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About the article

Published Online: 2016-03-31

Published in Print: 2016-04-01

Citation Information: Metaphysica, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 69–85, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2016-0006.

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