Combinatorialism Revisited

Armstrong, David (2004) Combinatorialism Revisited. La Structure du Mond: objets, propriétés, états et choses . pp. 185-198.

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The object of this paper is to argue once again for the combinatorial account of possibility defended in earlier work (Armstrong, 1989, 1997). But there I failed fully to realise the dialectical advantages that accrue once one begins by assuming the hypothesis of logical atomism, the hypothesis that postulates simple particulars and simple universals (properties and relations) at the bottom of the world. Logical atomism is, I incline to think, no better than ‘speculative cosmology’ as opposed to ‘analytic ontology’, to use Donald Williams’ terminology (Williams, 1966, p.74). It is, however, not an implausible hypothesis given the current state of quantum physics. More important for our purposes here, the strictly combinatorial theory that flows rather naturally from the atomist metaphysics shows some promise of continuing to hold (perhaps with a little mutatis mutandis) in a world that is not an atomist world.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This paper was published in French as “Theorie Combinatoire Revue et Corrigée” in J-M. Monnoyer (ed) La Structure du Mond: objets, propriétés, états et choses, Paris, Vrin, 2004, pp.185-198. It appears here with minor corrections. ISBN: 2-7116-1627-4
Uncontrolled Keywords:Combinatorialism
Schools/Departments:Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities > Department of Philosophy
ID Code:716
Deposited By:Hutchinson, Mrs Lindsay
Deposited On:17 Dec 2007 16:29
Last Modified:21 Dec 2007 13:07

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