more from John Heil

Single Idea 18510

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

Full Idea

When a tomato depresses a scale, it does so in virtue of its mass - how it is masswise - and not in virtue of its colour or shape. Were we barred from saying such things, we would be unable to formulate truths about the fundamental things.

Gist of Idea

We need properties to explain how the world works


John Heil (The Universe as We Find It [2012], 02.3)

Book Reference

Heil,John: 'The Universe as We Find It' [OUP 2012], p.17

A Reaction

It doesn't follow that we have an ontological commitment to properties, but we certainly need to point out the obvious fact that things being one way rather than another makes a difference to what happens.