15:30 - 17:00 TF-Colloquium: Victor Gijsbers

September 19
Kromme Nieuwe Gracht 80, (Room 106)

Victor Gijsbers

A Defence of the Eleatic Principle

In the Sophist, Plato has the Eleatic Stranger propose the following criterion for reality: "I'm saying that a thing really is if it has any capacity [δύναμιν] at all, either by nature to do something to something else or to have even the smallest thing done to it by even the most trivial thing, even if it only happens once." In this talk, I will argue that a version of this Eleatic Principle is, in fact, true.

More precisely, I will argue that to be real is to be causally connected to me. I discuss several proposed counterarguments and show how they can be dealt with. Most important of all is a counterproposal that has a fair number of supporters in contemporary metaphysics, namely, the claim that to be real is to be spatio-temporally related to me. I show that the Eleatic Principle fares far better when we look at the reality not just of objects, but also of properties.

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