The Supervenient Self and Its Relationship to Tropes
Alexander (Ronald)
Source: Alexander (Ronald) - The Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity, 1997, Chapter 4
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract1

  1. In Part I of Chapter IV, I take a brief look at the work of George Stout and Donald Williams, two of the twentieth century's early proponents of abstract particulars. In doing so, however, my method is dialectical rather than merely expository. One of the major issues confronting the defender of abstract particulars is the necessity of the use of 'resemblance' in his/her interpretation of 'universals2'. Thus, a worthy opponent of resemblance is Panayot Butchvarov, and I must counter his objections to a sufficient degree that the plausibility of the use of resemblance in respect to the classification of properties is defended against the concept of identity.
  2. In Part II of Chapter IV, I defend the metaphysical nature of the self treated as a supervenient trope. Both Butchvarov and Keith Campbell provide useful contributions to this concept of the self, but both also raise serious questions about supervenience3 that demand a response before I can continue the analysis of the self. Butchvarov's 'cluster of qualities' notion and Campbell's 'tropes' provide support for my understanding of the self as a supervenient property. Yet, both philosophers are somewhat dubious about the necessity of appealing to the concept of supervenience4 in order to undertake an adequate analysis of abstract properties. I try to show that the dynamics of the self as a trope do not fit the traditional understanding of properties and that supervenience5 provides the proper conceptual vehicle for these dynamics. As will be seen, I cannot simply treat the self as an abstract property or universal per se inasmuch as any self has a uniqueness that would be lost if treated as a universal.


Photocopy of complete Book filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 01 (A)".

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Alexander (Ronald) - The Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity: Introduction", p. 3.

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