more from Cynthia Macdonald

Single Idea 7937

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique]

Full Idea

The bundle theory makes all true statements ascribing properties to substances uninformative, by making them logical truths. The property of being a feline animal is literally a constituent of a cat.

Gist of Idea

When we ascribe a property to a substance, the bundle theory will make that a tautology


Cynthia Macdonald (Varieties of Things [2005], Ch.3)

Book Reference

Macdonald,Cynthia: 'Varieties of Things' [Blackwell 2005], p.95

A Reaction

The solution would seem to a distinction between accidental and essential properties. Compare 'that plane is red' with 'that plane has wings'. 'Of course it does - it's a plane'. We might still survive without a plane-substance.