Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Determinates/Determinables: Determinables are expressions for something that allows further specifications due to language usage. E.g. the form, color, etc., are determinables, which are determined further by determinates such as "elongated", "light green," and so on. The term was introduced by W.E. Johnson (Johnson, W.E., 1921, Logic (Part 1), Cambridge). See also specification, determinateness, individuation, identification, ontology.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 51
Definition Determinable/Bigelow/Pargetter: what the objects have in common, but what is differently strong in them. For example, mass.
Definition Determinate/Bigelow/Pargetter: is the special property that distinguishes the objects (simultaneously). For example a mass of 2.0 kg.
Both together show what is common and what is different. (> Problem of Quantities, Participation/Plato).
Quantities/Bigelow/Pargetter: Problem: the approach is still incomplete:
I 52
Either the relation between determinates and determinables is objective or it is not objective.
A) objective: if it is objective, we need an explanation in which it exists.
B) non-objective: then it is arbitrary to assert that objects that have different Determinates fall under that same Determinable.
W.E. Johnson: our approach is based on one of Johnson's: in it, both are Determinables and also Determinate properties of individuals.
Bigelow/Pargetter: Variant: we can start with a special property for each individual (Determinate, e.g. color shading). Then we define the common: color, this commonality is a property of 2nd level
Definition 2nd degree property/Bigelow/Pargetter: E.g. the commonality of all shades of a color.
I 53
Hierarchy: can then be continued upwards. E.g. to have a color at all is one level higher.
E.g. pain: is having a 2nd level property.
Functional role/Bigelow/Pargetter: is a commonality, so there is a property 2nd level to have a certain functional role.
Hierarchy: then consists of three sets of properties.
1. Property 1st level of individuals. All other properties supervene on them.
2. Properties of properties 1st level: = properties of 2nd degree (commonality of properties)
3. Properties 2nd level of individuals: = the property to have that or that property of the 1st level which has that or that property of the 2nd degree.
Problem of Quantities/Solution/Bigelow/Pargetter:
1. Objects with different Determinates are different because each has a property of 1st level that another thing does not have.
2. they are the same because they have the same property of 2nd level.
Determinables/Determinates/Johnson: are in close logical relations: to have a Determinate entails to have the corresponding Determinable.
I 54
But not vice versa! Having a Determinable does not require possession of a particular Determinate! But it requires some Determinate from the range.
BigelowVsJohnson: he could not explain the asymmetry.
Solution/Bigelow/Pargetter: properties of 2nd level.
Problem: our theory is still incomplete!
Problem: to explain why quantities are gradual. This does not mean that objects are the same and different at the same time.
New: the problem that we can also say exactly how much they differ. Or, for example, two masses are more similar than two others.
Plato: Plato solves this with the participation.
Bigelow/Pargetter: we try a different solution: > Relational theories.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-05-27