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In the paper it is argued that there are two intuitions underlying the concept of trope. According to the first, a trope is a particularised property - a property taken as an individual aspect of a particular object. In the light of this conception tropes are, as it were, direct abstractions from concrete individuals. On the second view, tropes are construed not so much as abstractions from concrete individuals, but rather as primitive items of which the concrete individuals are composed. Tropes so construed are, as it were, metaphysically prior to concrete individuals. We can imagine that the cognitive access to these tropes is obtained by a kind of a double abstraction. The trope in question is not only abstracted from the concrete individual of which it is a trope but also taken in abstraction from the very fact that it has been abstracted this way. Only the second conception is really metaphysically interesting, while only on the first conception can tropes function as semantically efficient truthmakers.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-11-01

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