Brad Rives, Department of Philosophy, published a paper titled “Which Are the Genuine Properties?” in the January 2015 issue of Metaphilosophy.
This article considers three views about which properties are genuine.
According to the first view, we should look to successful commonsense
and scientific explanations in determining which properties are genuine.
On this view, predicates that figure in such explanations thereby pick
out genuine properties. According to the second view, the only
predicates that pick out genuine properties are those that figure in our
best scientific explanations. On this view, predicates that figure in
commonsense explanations pick out genuine properties only if such
explanations are vindicated by the sciences. According to the third
view, the only genuine properties are the fundamental, microphysical
ones. On this view, although there are “higher-level” predicates that
figure in true commonsense and scientific explanations, there are no
“higher-level” properties corresponding to such predicates. The article
argues that the third view is superior to the others.
Department of Philosophy