Single Idea 15737

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 2. Need for Properties]

Full Idea

To deserve the name of 'property' is to be suited to play the right theoretical role. It is wrong to speak of 'the' role associated with the word 'property', as if it were fully and uncontroversially settled.

Gist of Idea

To be a 'property' is to suit a theoretical role


David Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds [1986], 1.5)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.55

A Reaction

Once again I see a chicken-and-egg problem. Surely something has a theoretical role because of its intrinsic character, or its prior definition? How could you formulate a theory if you lacked properties? We donít meet properties as gaps in theories.