SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Predication, Ways of being and Properties
(Metaphysics/Ontology, English)

In this paper, I propose a new theory of properties in which properties are understand in terms of ways of being: a property (e.g. the property of being human) is an object that encodes a way of being (e.g. being human). So, (i) properties are objects, and (ii) properties encodes ways of being. About the first claim: because properties are objects, I claim, properties have what I call an objectual part in their structures. About the second claim: unlike other objects, properties have something more in their structures. Because properties encode ways of being, I claim, they have what I call a predication part in their structures. This predicational part of properties is where ways of being are encoded. So, strictly speaking, ways of being are not encoded in properties themselves but encoded in the predicational part of properties.

The semantic value of a predicate is a way of being that is encoded in the predicational part of a property. For example, the semantic value of the predicate "is F" is being F that is encoded in the predicational part of the property of being F. So, the semantic value of "is F" is being F which in a sense is a part of the property of being F. On the other hand, the semantic value of the singular term "the property of being F" is the property of being F as a whole or the property of being F as an object (i.e., as something that has the objectual unity). In the statements "The property of being F is a property/an abstract entity", we are talking about the property of being F as a whole or as an object. Note that these statements describe specifically the objectual part of the property of being F in the sense that they tell us what sort of object the property in question is.

Then, I will show that some puzzles about predication can be solved in my theory of properties, which shows that there are good reasons to accept my theory: (1) My theory can explain why the predicate "is human" and the singular term "the property of being human" cannot be substituted for each other. (2) My theory can avoid Bradley's regress. (3) My theory can explain why, for example, the essentialist statement "Socrates essentially is human" does not entail "Socrates is ontologically dependent upon the property of being human" while the essentialist statement "Socrates essentially exemplifies the property of being human" entails it.

Chair: Alejandro Gracia di Rienzo
Time: 12:00-12:30, 08 September 2022 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.006
Remark: (Online Talk)

Minseok Kim 
(Syracuse University, USA)



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