1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Properties

Edited By A.R.J. Fisher, Anna-Sofia Maurin Copyright 2024
    480 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Philosophical questions regarding both the existence and nature of properties are ubiquitous in ordinary life, the sciences, and philosophical theorising. In philosophy, it is one of the oldest topics discussed in various intellectual traditions – East and West – reaching back to Plato and Aristotle. Today, in the analytic tradition, properties continue to be a core area of study and research.

    The Routledge Handbook of Properties is an outstanding reference source to this perennial topic and is the first major volume of its kind. It contains forty specially commissioned chapters written by an international team of expert contributors, and is divided into nine clear parts:

    • Methodology and Metaontology
    • Distinctions
    • Realism about Universals
    • Nominalism
    • Trope Theory
    • Properties in Causation, Time, and Modality
    • Properties in Science
    • Properties in Language and Mind
    • Properties in the Normative Realm, the Social World, and Aesthetics

    The Routledge Handbook of Properties is essential reading for anyone studying and researching metaphysics, metametaphysics, and ontology, and will also be of interest to those in closely related areas such as philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, ethics, and aesthetics.

    Introduction: the importance of properties A.R.J. Fisher and Anna-Sofia Maurin

    Part 1

    : Methodology and metaontology

    1. Quantification and ontological commitment Nicholas K. Jones

    2. The method of paraphrase John A. Keller

    3. Properties as truthmakers Bradley Rettler

    4. Naturalness: abundant and sparse properties Elanor Taylor


    Part 2: Distinctions

    5. Universality and particularity Daniel Giberman

    6. Are properties abstract entities? Sam Cowling

    7. Relations: existence and Nature Fraser MacBride

    8. Intrinsic/extrinsic Vera Hoffmann-Kolss

    9. Essential versus accidental properties Fabrice Correia

    10. Determinate/determinable Eric Funkhouser


    Part 3: Realism about universals

    11. Platonic realism Chad Carmichael

    12. Immanent realism and states of affairs Bo R. Meinertsen

    13. Location and properties Nikk Effingham

    14. Universals and the bundle theory Jiri Benovsky


    Part 4: Nominalism

    15. Ostrich nominalism Michael Devitt

    16. Class nominalism and resemblance nominalism Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra

    17. Priority and grounding nominalism Guido Imaguire

    18. Nominalism in mathematics Jody Azzouni


    Part 5: Trope theory

    19. Trope nominalisms Douglas Ehring

    20. Types of tropes: modifier and module Robert K. Garcia

    21. Trope bundle theories of substance Markku Keinänen and Jani Hakkarainen

    22. Trope-relations Anna-Sofia Maurin


    Part 6: Properties in causation, time, and modality

    23. Causation and properties Carolina Sartorio

    24. Dispositional properties Jennifer McKitrick

    25. Events, processes, and properties Carlo Rossi

    26. Temporal properties Katarina Perović

    27. Possible worlds as properties Peter Forrest

    28. Powers, potentialities and modality Barbara Vetter


    Part 7: Properties in science

    29. Properties and natural kinds Alexander Bird

    30. Laws of nature Tuomas E. Tahko

    31. Emergent properties Anne Sophie Meincke

    32. Quantitative properties J.E. Wolff


    Part 8: Properties in language and mind

    33. Reference to properties in natural language Friederike Moltmann

    34. Mental causation and higher-order properties David Robb

    35. Qualia as properties of experiences Umut Baysan

    36. Properties in perception Bence Nanay


    Part 9: Properties in the normative realm, the social world, and aesthetics

    37. Normative properties Matti Eklund

    38. Moral properties Caj Strandberg

    39. Social properties Dee Payton

    40. Aesthetic properties Sonia Sedivy.



    A.R.J. Fisher is a Lecturer in Philosophy at Gonzaga University, USA. His research focuses on the metaphysics of properties, time, and modality. He also works on the history of twentieth-century metaphysics, writing on metaphysical topics from a historical perspective. He edited Donald C. Williams’s The Elements and Patterns of Being (2018), and is presently writing a monograph on Williams’s metaphysics (forthcoming).

    Anna-Sofia Maurin is a Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research focuses on issues in (meta)metaphysics, especially tropes, unity in complexity, ontological justification, infinite regress arguments, grounding, and metaphysical explanation. Her most recent research also covers debates in social ontology. She is the author of If Tropes (2002), and Properties in the Cambridge Elements in Metaphysics series (2022).