In Defence of Spatially Related Universals
Gilmore (Cody)
Source: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 81: 420-428 (September 2003)
Paper - Abstract

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    Immanent universals1, being wholly present wherever they are instantiated, are capable both of bi-location (one entity’s being wholly present in two places at one time) and of co-location (two entities’ being wholly present in the same place at one time). As a result, they can become involved in some bizarre situations, situations whose contradictory appearance cannot be dispelled by any of the relativising techniques familiar to metaphysicians as solutions to the problem of change. Douglas Ehring takes this to be a fatal problem for immanent universals2, but I do not. Although the old relativising techniques don’t solve the problem, I propose a new one that does. I spend half the paper defending the proposed solution against objections, and in the course of this task I have occasion to touch upon such topics as backward time travel3 and the distinction between universals4 and particulars. I close by putting forward – merely as an option – a new way to draw the distinction in question.


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