more from Cynthia Macdonald

Single Idea 7965

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties]

Full Idea

An object's being two inches long seems to guarantee an infinite number of other properties, such as being less than three inches long. If we must understand the second property to understand the first, then there seems to be a vicious infinite regress.

Gist of Idea

Does the knowledge of each property require an infinity of accompanying knowledge?


Cynthia Macdonald (Varieties of Things [2005], Ch.2)

Book Reference

Macdonald,Cynthia: 'Varieties of Things' [Blackwell 2005], p.242

A Reaction

She dismisses this by saying that we don't need to know an infinity of numbers in order to count. I would say that we just need to distinguish between intrinsic and relational properties. You needn't know all a thing's relations to know the thing.