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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 17, 2008


Takeshi Akiba
Pages 7-13

Objection to Simons’ Nuclear Theory

A number of philosophers today endorse the view that material substances (ex. cats, stones, atoms) can be analyzed as bundles of “particular properties” or “tropes”. Among several developments, the theory that P. Simons proposed is seen as the most successful one. Simons’ theory seems to owe its high reputation to mainly two advantages which he claims for his theory: the capacity for avoiding infinite regress, and the explanatory adequacy for phenomenon of change. In this paper, however, I try to object to this high appraisal, by showing that the two alleged advantages indeed cannot be simultaneously secured by Simons’ position. To this aim, I proceed as follows: First, I present Simons’ theory and explain its alleged two advantages. Next, I take up A. Denkel’s criticism and show that the explanatory adequacy will be lost unless Simons admits a certain revision of his theory. Finally, I show that as a result of the revision needed, Simons’ position comes to lose the capacity for avoiding regress in turn.