It seems we can—as long as we understand each other.GaryLouisSmith wrote: ↑August 15th, 2019, 8:50 pmMy guess, and it's only a guess, is that you are operating out of a substance-attribute ontology and those attributes are not fully separate from the substance they are "of". I have a more radical separation between bare particular - those things you think are contradictions and not real - and universals. I also have various nexus to tie all those separate things together.
Given that difference between our basic ontologies, I'm wondering how we can discuss these matters, if indeed we can at all.
Yes, my basic ontology is a substance-attribute/object-property ontology. But I (and Heil) believe that attributes/properties are particulars rather than universals. Properties are ways things are, and I don't understand how properties can exist separately from the things having them, being externally "attached" to them by means of a "nexus" that is an additional entity in facts. I think an atomic fact of the form "a is F" consists of two entities only: a & F. The copula "is" doesn't represent a third entity connecting a and F, because the property F is self-connecting or self-relating to a. That is, there needn't be an additional, external nexus gluing a and F together, because F is "gluey" in itself.
This isn't only true of properties but also of relations, so Bradley's famous regress argument is a nonstarter. For example, in the case of dyadic relations, you don't need two additional relations to connect a dyadic relation with its two relata, because the relation is self-connecting or self-relating to its relata. It connects its relata and itself with them. a relational fact of the form "a stands in R to b" consists of three entities only: a & b & R.
"Substances are property bearers; properties are ways substances are. If there are substances, there are properties; if there are properties, there are substances. Every substance is some way or other, every property is a way some substance is. Substance and property are complementary categories of being. The idea is expressed by Locke's contention that substance and property are 'correlative'; they 'stand or fall together'."
(Heil, John. The Universe As We Find It. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. pp. 12-3)