Making Sense of Negative Properties

Making Sense of Negative Properties Few philosophers believe in the existence of so-called negative properties. Indeed, many find it mind-boggling just to imagine such entities. By contrast, I believe not only that negative properties are quite conceivable, but also that there are good reasons for thinking that some such properties actually exist. In this paper, I would like to explicate a concept of negative properties which I think avoids the logical absurdities commonly believed to frustrate theories of negative existences. To do this, I shall deploy a conceptual approach to ontology: I first evaluate the ontological commitments of ordinary negative statements, before I argue that, from the perspective of conceptual analysis, negative properties are no more suspicious than positive properties. In the second part of this paper, I probe the extent to which one can explain the distinction between positive and negative properties in terms of facts about logico-semantical entailment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Axiomathes Springer Journals

Making Sense of Negative Properties

Axiomathes , Volume 28 (1) – Apr 27, 2017
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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy, general; Ontology; Linguistics, general; Cognitive Psychology; Logic
ISSN
1122-1151
eISSN
1572-8390
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10516-017-9337-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Few philosophers believe in the existence of so-called negative properties. Indeed, many find it mind-boggling just to imagine such entities. By contrast, I believe not only that negative properties are quite conceivable, but also that there are good reasons for thinking that some such properties actually exist. In this paper, I would like to explicate a concept of negative properties which I think avoids the logical absurdities commonly believed to frustrate theories of negative existences. To do this, I shall deploy a conceptual approach to ontology: I first evaluate the ontological commitments of ordinary negative statements, before I argue that, from the perspective of conceptual analysis, negative properties are no more suspicious than positive properties. In the second part of this paper, I probe the extent to which one can explain the distinction between positive and negative properties in terms of facts about logico-semantical entailment.

Journal

AxiomathesSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 27, 2017

References

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