An Argument for the Existence of Tropes

Erkenntnis 74.1 (2011): 69-79. [doi: 10.1007/s10670-010-9252-0].

Abstract: Meet Sam. Sam is a red, round, and soft ball. Ontologically speaking, he belongs in the category of concrete particulars. That entities belonging to this category exist can hardly be doubted. That entities belonging to this category could exist – that they are a possible kind of entity – is self-evidently true. Now, even self-evident truths may need defending in the face of (what seems to be) evidence to their contrary. In this paper I therefore defend, not only the actual, but also the possible existence of Sam and other members of his category. In so doing, I end up with an unusually potent argument for the existence of tropes.

link to published paper here link to preprint here.