Uriah Kriegel, Metaphysique analytique

Salle Langevin, lundi 14-16h

1) Introduction: 4 philosophical debates about properties (20/2)

A. Properties: Fundamental Beings or Derivative Existents?


2) Armstrong (1992), “Properties” (27/2)

further readings: Armstrong (1978), Universals Vol. 1-2


3) Rodriguez Pereyra (2001), “Resemblance Nominalism and Russell’s Regress” (6/3)

further readings: Rodriguez Pereyra (2002), Resemblance Nominalism


4) Campbell (1981), “The Metaphysic of Abstract Particulars” (20/3)

further readings: Campbell (1990), Abstract Particulars


5) Skyrms (1981), “Tractarian Nominalism” (27/3, 14h)

further readings: Armstrong (1997), A World of States of Affairs


6) Jackson (1977), “Statements about Universals” (27/3, 16h)

further readings: Bealer (1982), Quality and Concept


B. Properties: Mind-independent or Human-relative?


7) Lewis (1983), “New Work for a Theory of Universals” (24/4)

further readings: Dorr & Hawthorne (2013), “Naturalness


8) Quine (1969), “Natural Kinds” (15/5)

further readings: Kripke (1972), Naming and Necessity, Lecture III; Putnam (1975), “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’”


9) Dupré (1980), “Natural Kinds and Biological Taxa” (22/5)

further readings: Dupré (1993), The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science


10) Hendry (2006), “Elements, Compounds, and Other Chemical Kinds” (29/5)

further readings: Hendry (forthcoming), The Metaphysics of Chemistry


11) Johnston (1997), “Manifest Kinds” (5/6)

further readings: Johnston (forthcoming), The Manifest




12) What to believe? (12/6)




Classroom discussion – three questions to answer:

1)   What is the central thesis of the article (in one sentence)?

2)   What is the main argument for that thesis?

3)   Are we convinced (by the argument and of the thesis)?

      Requirements for validation:

Weeks 2-6: send me a one-sentence formulation of the article’s thesis before midnight on Sunday 

Week 7: submit an article (8,000-10,000 characters) on the topic of part A of the course (accepted languages: French, English)

Weeks 7-11: send me a three-to-five-sentence formulation of the article’s central argument

Week 10 (optional): submit a draft of the below

Week 12: submit an article (16,000-20,000 characters) on the topic of part B of the course


Grade breakdown:

Course grade = (F+M+5T)/1.5

F = Final article: 15 points

M = Mid-semester article: 10 points

T = Thesis or argument formulation: 1 point per week for your 5 best weeks