“Does Ontology Matter?”, in: Tropes, Universals and the Philosophy of Mind, S. Gozzano and F. Orilia, eds., DeGruyter.

Abstract: D. Robb, on the one hand, and C. B. Martin and J. Heil, on the other, have argued that the problem of the causal relevance of mental properties (dis)solves when properties are treated as tropes rather than universals. Though similar in appearance, their positions differ importantly. Robb relies on the notion that properties are tropes, but close scrutiny of their positions suggests that Martin and Heil do not. Martin and Heil reject the Picture Theory (the view that language pictures reality). I argue that this rejection is sufficient in itself to (dis)solve the problem of mental properties’ causal relevance. The Picture Theory should indeed be rejected; but if it is, not only can the argumentative role that tropes are supposed to play in this context no longer be offered as a reason for accepting an ontology of tropes rather than universals; many other reasons often cited in our attempts to justify one ontology over another must be given up as well. Inf ontological conclusions are to be justified, the old Picture theory must be replaced by a new and better one. The paper ends with a sketch of such a theory.

Excerpt from Google Books here. For a copy of the printed text, e-mail me.