Single Idea 15448

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 1. Structure of an Object]

Full Idea

The 'magical' conception of structural universals says 'simple' must be distinguished from 'atomic'. A structural universal is never simple; it involves other, simpler, universals, but it is mereologically atomic. The other universals are not its parts.

Gist of Idea

The 'magical' view of structural universals says they are atoms, even though they have parts


David Lewis (Against Structural Universals [1986], 'The magical')

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology' [CUP 1999], p.100

A Reaction

Hence the 'magic' is for it to be an indissoluble unity, while acknowledging that it has parts. Personally I don't see much problem with this view, since universals already perform the magical feat of being 'instantiated', whatever that means.

Related Idea

Idea 15449 If 'methane' is an atomic structural universal, it has nothing to connect it to its carbon universals [Lewis]