Tropes and Some Ontological Prerequisites for Knowledge
Talbot School of Theology
Many have written about trope ontology, but relatively few have considered its implications for some of the ontological conditions needed for us to have knowledge. I explore the resources of trope ontology to meet those conditions. With J. P. Moreland, I argue that, being simple, we can eliminate tropes’ qualitative contents without ontological loss, resulting in bare individuators. Then I extend Moreland’s argument, arguing that tropes undermine some of the needed ontological conditions for knowledge. Yet, we do know many things, and trope nominalists presuppose that too. Therefore, I consider three counter-arguments, starting with David Lewis’s rebuttal based on appeal to brute facts. Second, I explore Jeffrey Brower’s recent proposal as a possible solution. Last, I consider Robert Garcia’s recent distinction between module and modifier tropes, to see if it can be of assistance. I conclude, however, that trope nominalism cannot preserve some of the needed ontology to have knowledge.
Ontology; Tropes (Philosophy)
DOI of Published Version
Smith, R. Scott, "Tropes and Some Ontological Prerequisites for Knowledge" (2019). Faculty Articles & Research. 498.