The Bundle Theory

  • Michael J. Loux
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy book series (PSSP, volume 14)


The first objection, we have seen, insists that since he identifies substances with the properties associated with them, the bundle theorist is committed to the view that substances are necessary beings. The claim here is that since the bundle theorist takes all of the constituents of ordinary objects to be necessary beings, he is forced to construe the wholes which they comprise as necessary. Now, when it is expressed in these terms, it becomes clear that the first objection involves the fallacy of composition, the fallacy of assuming that if each object entering into the constitution of a complex exhibits a certain property, the resulting complex must exhibit that property as well. But while the argument underlying this objection may be fallacious, there clearly are ways of parsing the “bundling” metaphor at work in traditional formulations of the view which have just the consequences the first objection reads into the bundle theory. If, for example, the bundle theorist tells us that an ordinary object is a bundle of properties in the sense that it is to be identified with the set of properties we associate with it, then it seems plausible to suppose that his account forces us to construe substances as necessary existents. It is unclear whether all sets are necessary beings; there are genuine grounds for doubting whether a set at least one of whose members is a contingent being is itself a necessary being. However, where a set is composed exclusively of necessary beings, it is plausible to think that the set itself is necessary.


Perceptual Space Bare Substratum True Sentence Ordinary Object Bundle Theorist 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Loux
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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