Single Idea 7042

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes]

Full Idea

The friend of universals has an account of similarity relations as relations of identity and partial identity; the friend of modes must regard similarity relations as primitive and irreducible.


'Modes' is Heil's term for the more usual 'tropes'

Gist of Idea

A theory of universals says similarity is identity of parts; for modes, similarity is primitive


John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 14.5)

Book Reference

Heil,John: 'From an Ontological Point of View' [OUP 2005], p.157

A Reaction

We always seem to be able to ask 'in what respect' a similarity occurs. If similarity is 'primitive and irreducible', we should not be able to analyse and explain a similarity, yet we seem able to. I conclude that Heil is wrong.