© 1978

Substance and Attribute

A Study in Ontology


Part of the Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy book series (PSSP, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Attributes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 13-43
    3. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 44-53
    4. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 54-88
    5. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 89-104
  3. Substances

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 105-105
    2. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 107-120
    3. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 121-139
    4. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 140-152
    5. Michael J. Loux
      Pages 153-180
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 181-188

About this book


In this book I address a dichotomy that is as central as any in ontology - that between ordinary objects or substances and the various attributes (Le. , properties, kinds, and relations) we associate with them. My aim is to arrive at the correct philosophical account of each member of the dichotomy. What I shall argue is that the various attempts to understand substances or attri­ butes in reductive terms fail. Talk about attributes, I shall try to show, is just that - talk about attributes; and, likewise, talk about substances is just tha- talk about substances. The result is what many will find a strange combina­ tion of views - a Platonistic theory of attributes, where attributes are univer­ sals or multiply exemplifiable entities whose existence is independent of "the world of flux", and an Aristotelian theory of substance, where substances are basic unities not reducible to metaphysically more fundamental kinds of things. Part One is concerned with the ontology of attributes. After distinguishing three different patterns of metaphysical thinking about attributes, I examine, in turn, the phenomena of predication, resemblance, and higher order quanti­ fication. I argue that none of these phenomena by itself is sufficient to establish the inescapability of a Platonistic interpretation of attributes. Then, I discuss the phenomenon of abstract reference as it is exhibited in the use of abstract singular terms.


Interpretation Plato argue discourse empiricism identity individual interpret ontology platonism realism singular subject truth will

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Substance and Attribute
  • Book Subtitle A Study in Ontology
  • Authors Michael J. Loux
  • Series Title Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1978
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-0926-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-90-277-0955-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-9874-2
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 188
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Science
  • Buy this book on publisher's site