more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 13587

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties]

Full Idea

There is no natural property of 'fragility'; glasses, parchments, ecosystems and spiders' webs are fragile in their own ways, but they have nothing intrinsic or structural in common.

Gist of Idea

There is no property of 'fragility', as things are each fragile in a distinctive way


Brian Ellis (Scientific Essentialism [2001], 3.06)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'Scientific Essentialism' [CUP 2007], p.120

A Reaction

This is important (and, I think, correct) because we are inclined to say that something is 'intrinsically' fragile, but that still isn't enough to identify a true property. Ellis wants universals to be involved, and even a nominalist must sort-of agree.