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ThoughtsPapers on Mind, Meaning, and Modality$
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Stephen Yablo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266463.001.0001

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Singling out Properties

Singling out Properties

Chapter:
(p.249) 9 Singling out Properties
Source:
Thoughts
Author(s):

Stephen Yablo (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266463.003.0009

An increasingly common practice in metaphysics is to gather a body of more or less central preconceptions associated with some predicate, and then, guided by whatever clues philosophy and science have to offer, strike out in search of the associated state or property. This chapter argues that seeking after a property's identity makes sense only if its identity is not yet known. That is, there has to be a better way of conceiving F-ness than what we have already, such that knowing what F-ness is means conceiving it like that. But the existence of a better idea of F-ness is not something that can be assumed in advance. Some of the trouble this assumption causes is considered. Experiments with dropping the assumption and getting out of the identification racket are then discussed.

Keywords:   metaphysics, property, identity, F-ness

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