States of Affairs and the Relation Regress

In: The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy (2015). Gabriele Galluzzo and Michael J. Loux, eds., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Abstract: The following is a common view: There are universals and there are substrates. Universals and substrates obey what Armstrong (1978) calls the Principle of Instantiation and the Principle of the Rejection of Bare Particulars. What is more, when a substrate exemplifies a universal (or, conversely, when a universal is instantiated in a substrate) there exists, besides (yet somehow constituted by) the substrate and universal, a state of affairs. But why, if there are universals and substrates, and universals and substrates depend generically on each other in the sense prescribed by Armstrong’s two principles, should we posit states of affairs as well? In this paper, I consider and criticize one influential answer to that question.

Link to preprint here.