Relations and Order-Sensitivity

  • 1 Department of Philosophy, The University of Calgary, Social Sciences Building, Room 1202, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4
David Liebesman

Abstract

I ate my broccoli, though my broccoli did not eat me. The eating relation, like many other relations, differentiates between its arguments. The fact that eating holds between a and b does not entail that it holds between b and a. How are we to make sense of this? The standard view is that relations are sensitive to the order of their arguments. As natural as this view is, it has been the target of a powerful objection from Kit Fine. I examine Fine’s objection and defend the standard view.

  • Burge, T. 2010. Origins of Objectivity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Dorr, C. 2004. “Non-Symmetric Relations.” Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:15592.

  • Fine, K. 1999. “Things and Their Parts.” Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23(1):6174.

  • Fine, K. 2000. “Neutral Relations.” The Philosophical Review 109(1):1.

  • Fine, K. 2009. “The Question of Ontology.” In Metametaphysics, edited by R. Wasserman, D. Chalmers, and D. Manley, 15777. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gaskin, R., and D. J. Hill. 2012. “On Neutral Relations.” Dialectica 66(1):16786.

  • Johnston, M. 2006. “Hylomorphism.” The Journal of Philosophy 103(12):65298.

  • Koslicki, K. 2008. The Structure of Objects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Lewis, D. 1999. Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Lewis, D. 1973. Counterfactuals. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • MacBride, F. 2007. “Neutral Relations Revisited.” Dialectica 61(1):2556.

  • Merricks, T. 2003. Objects and Persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Nolan, D. 1997. “Quantitative Parsimony.” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48(3):329.

  • Schaffer, J. 2003. “Is There a Fundamental Level?Nous 37(3):498517.

  • Schaffer, J. 2010. “Monism: The Priority of the Whole.” The Philosophical Review 119(1):31.

  • Sider, T. 2001. “Maximality and Intrinsic Properties.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63(2):35764.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thomasson, A. 2006. “Metaphysical Arguments against Ordinary Objects.” The Philosophical Quarterly 56(224):34059.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thomasson, A. 2007. Ordinary Objects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Williamson, T. 1985. “Converse Relations.” The Philosophical Review 94(2):24962.

  • Wilson, J. 2010. “What Is Hume’s Dictum, and Why Believe It?Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80(3):595637.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
$42.00
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.


or
Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues

Metaphysica provides an international forum of ontology and metaphysics for readers all over the world. The journal is published biannually.

Search