Single Idea 15746

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals]

Full Idea

We cannot say that a particle is composed entirely of its several universals, because then another particle exactly like it would have the very same universals, and yet the two particles would not be the same.

Gist of Idea

If particles were just made of universals, similar particles would be the same particle


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

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.65

A Reaction

This is an argument either (implausibly) for haecceities or characterless substrata, or else for tropes (which are all separate, unlike universals). Particles as bundles of universals is not a theory I take seriously.