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Against Bare Particulars A Response to Moreland and Pickavance

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In a recent article [Mertz 2001] in this journal I argued for the virtues of a realist ontology of relation instances (unit attributes). A major strength of this ontology is an assay of ontic ('material') predication that yields an account of individuation without the necessity of positing and defending 'bare particulars'. The crucial insight is that it is the unifying agency or combinatorial aspect of a relation instance as predicable that is for ontology the principium individuationis [Mertz 2002; 1996]. Or in short, what is ontically predicable, precisely as such, is the cause of individuation. As a preface to this positive doctrine I offered arguments against the coherence of bare particulars as defended in an article by J. P. Moreland [1998]. In a reply contained in this issue Moreland and Timothy Pickavance (hereafter M/P) propose to answer my objections [2002]. The response that follows provides reasons why, I contend, M/P have not succeeded in parrying my objections to bare particulars.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Missouri, St Louis

Publication date: March 1, 2003


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