Single Idea 15449

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

Full Idea

What is it about the universal carbon that gets it involved in necessary connections with methane? Why not rubidium instead? The universal 'carbon' has nothing more in common with the universal methane than the universal rubidium has!

Gist of Idea

If 'methane' is an atomic structural universal, it has nothing to connect it to its carbon universals


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

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology' [CUP 1999], p.101

A Reaction

This is his objection to the 'magical' unity of structural universals. The point is that if methane is an atomic unity, as claimed, it can't have anything 'in common' with its components.

Related Idea

Idea 15448 The 'magical' view of structural universals says they are atoms, even though they have parts [Lewis]