Relations

Authored by: John Heil

The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics

Print publication date:  April  2009
Online publication date:  April  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415396318
eBook ISBN: 9780203879306
Adobe ISBN: 9781134155866

10.4324/9780203879306.ch30

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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed renewed interest in the ontology of properties. Some philosophers shun properties altogether. Others embrace properties but differ on whether properties are universals or particulars (a.k.a. modes, individual accidents, tropes, abstract particulars). In most discussions of properties, relations are an afterthought. Perhaps relations are really kinds of property, “relational properties.” Or maybe it is the other way round: properties are “monadic relations.” The idea that properties are powers is increasingly popular. What then of relations? It is hard to see being a meter apart as a power. If it is not a power, what is it? If it is a power, what has it? Does it belong to the relata? Or does it subsist somehow between relata?

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