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The Many Kinds of Many: Pluralism about Properties

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Is the property of something also a 'thing' in its own right?

In assigning properties to things (e.g. the grass is green, murder is wrong), we may come to regard these properties as things in their own right. An EU-funded project propounded the pluralist concept of properties over the monist concept (i.e. the idea that there is only one kind of property).

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The project 'The many kinds of many: Pluralism about properties' (TMKM) researched the subject of the ways in which we consider properties. Should we take them to be those things in virtue of which one kind of thing is demarcated from another kind of thing? Or rather, should we take properties to be just those things that are referred to by our predicates?The discourse generated by such questions explores the different ways of understanding properties. Depending on the answers, it may be concluded that properties are relatively sparse, or that they are incredibly abundant. TMKM argued for pluralism, and argued that the existence of properties should be taken seriously. Team members provided an inventory of the various kinds of properties that should be posited, why they should be posited, and what ‘jobs’ each kind of property can do.Project work resulted in a book titled 'Properties', which outlines TMKM's main findings and makes the case for favouring the pluralism of properties. The book is in production and due for publication in the first half of 2014. Additional work regarding the project has been published in another seven articles.

Keywords

Properties, pluralist conception, predicates

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