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International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

Ed. by Hüntelmann, Rafael / Meixner, Uwe / Tegtmeier, Erwin

Together with Cumpa, Javier

Editorial Board Member: Addis, Laird / Davies, Brian / Hochberg, Herbert / Johansson, Ingvar / Kanzian, Christian / Klima, Gyula / Koons, Robert C / Künne, Wolfgang / Löffler, Winfried / Mulligan, Kevin / Nef, Frederic / Oaklander, Nathan / Oderberg, David / Orilia, Francesco / Plantinga, Alvin / Potrc, Matjaz / Rapp, Christof / Reicher-Marek, Maria Elisabeth / Schantz, Richard / Scholz, Oliver / Seibt, Johanna / Simons, Peter / Smith, Barry / Stoecker, Ralf / Strobach, Niko / Trettin, Käthe / Wachter, Daniel

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Why Realists Need Tropes

1University of Helsinki, PL 24 (Unioninkatu 40 A, 6. krs), 00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki, Finland

2School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Philosophy, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

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, March 2016

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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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