more from Stephen S. Colvin

Single Idea 20731

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 4. Anti-realism]

Full Idea

The doctrine [that all we can know is the relations between subject and object] is in its essence self-contradictory, since our very idea of thing implies that it is something in relation either actually or potentially.

Gist of Idea

The idea that everything is relations is contradictory; relations are part of the concept of things


Stephen S. Colvin (The Common-Sense View of Reality [1902], p.150)

Book Reference

-: 'Philosophical Review' [-], p.150

A Reaction

Ladyman and Ross try to defend an account of reality based entirely on relations. I'm with Colvin on this one. All accounts of reality based either on pure relations or pure functions have a huge hole in their theory.

Related Idea

Idea 14931 That there are existent structures not made of entities is no stranger than the theory of universals [Ladyman/Ross]