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Against Facts$
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Arianna Betti

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029216

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029216.001.0001

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Solving the Unity Problem

Solving the Unity Problem

Chapter:
(p.85) 3 Solving the Unity Problem
Source:
Against Facts
Author(s):

Arianna Betti

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029216.003.0003

Chapter 3 shows in what way the Unity Problem can be not only solved, but dissolved. The second and last step is taken here towards dismissing Armstrong’s facts as ad hoc entities, by showing that superior alternatives are available. If a common assumption that relations are relata unspecific is dropped (where relata specificity is neither externality or particularity), and it is instead assumed that relations are relata specific, then mereological complexes of relations and their relata alone suffice to provide unity in the world, and the unity problem does not arise. If the acknowledgement of relations (and properties) is deemed non-negotiable, then a world of mereological complexes where all relations are relata specific (and properties all bearer-specific) is preferable to one of Armstrongian facts, because the former is least ad hoc, or, in any case presents the fewest costs and most benefits. Within a discussion of criteria of theory choice in metaphysics it is also critically argued that, although mereological complexes can take up the truthmaker role, they do so only by sharing with facts certain modal characteristics that enable truthmaking as necessitation.

Keywords:   The unity problem, relations, relata-specific vs. relata-unspecific relations, internal vs. external relations, universal vs. particular relations, mereological complexes, Ad hocness, Theory choice in metaphysics, Truthmaking

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