I don't see the problem with self-exemplification. Some properties "have" themselves. For example, abstractness is itself an abstract object and so must exemplify itself. Being-possibly-exemplified is possibly exemplified and so exemplifies itself. What's the problem supposed to be?
Joey wrote: Thanks Luke for your response! I guess my problem is that it seems circular that properties exemplify themselves (on the view that existence = property exemplification, it's almost as if they exist "before" they exist, so to speak). However, if other people don't have a problem with that (and if it's an inescapable fact of reality that it must be so), then I guess I shouldn't either Do you have anything to say to my first question, or does your answer to the self-exemplification problem solve that one too?Thanks again!Joey
Joey wrote: Hi!I have 2 questions on the nature of abstract objects (properties etc) and their existence which can ultimately have a bearing on how we can understand their relation to God (if we believe in aseity). In any case, I assume a traditional realist view of metaphysics as taught in the book "Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview" by Craig and Moreland.1. This question is in the form of a realist vicious regress. In that book, the definition of existence is roughly "the belonging of some property". If so, and properties exist, some property P1 exists as some higher order property P2 belongs to it. But P2 exists as some P3 belongs to it, and so forth. Does this seem like a vicious regress? Also, it becomes hard to conceive of exactly what the very high order properties like P3, P4 etc are.
Joey wrote: 2. The definition of existence as "the belonging of some property" is not self-refuting as the exemplification or belonging-to relation is exemplified - it has the "property of being a relation". Therefore, what can we make of "the property of being a property"? If such a thing exists, all properties (both low- and high-order) would exemplify it, and it would seem to exemplify itself, which seems circular.
Joey wrote: Hi Demurph!That's a wonderful reply, thank you! I don't know if you know that Prof. Moreland has written the book entitled "Universals" that defends traditional realism (and offers some critique to Armstrong's "impure realism", as he calls it). Although I've read the book some time ago, I currently don't own a copy, but my suspicion is that he would argue for the immateriality even of universals that, when exemplified, must be necessarily exemplified by spatial particulars. Again, please forgive me if I misunderstand your views, but regarding the view of immanent universals, do you thus mean to suggest that universals don't have other universals as their metaphysical constituents to avoid the regress? I'd very much like to know your view(s) on how existence is understood. It'd seem that we must ultimately arrive at some self-instantiated universals on any theory of existence, and thus the same conditions for existence of other objects are not applicable for these.
Joey wrote: I'm also a bit unsure about your reference to bare particulars; as I understand them, they are more relevant to the problem of individuation than the current one we're discussing. Do you mean that self-instantiated universals possess bare particulars as their individuators and that's all we can say about their existence?
Joey wrote: If suppose we agree that some things must simply "exist" and be self-instantiated, perhaps we have a way to flesh out a model of aseity? For perhaps God, logically prior to creation/conceptualization of abstract objects, can exist without needing to 'possess' properties i.e. God is self-instantiated Himself. I suppose God would still "have" a nature in that logical moment, but it wouldn't be understood in terms of God's exemplifying properties e.g. if self-instantiated universals exist we can still describe them but they don't actually 'exemplify' further properties the way concrete particulars do.
Joey, I don't see any reason to think there must be a vicious infinite regress of property instantiation on a realist view. Consider, say, redness. It exemplifies visual property, which exemplifies sense property, and so on, until you get to propertyhood (or whatever you want to call it), which is itself a property and so exemplifies itself. It further exemplifies abstractness, which is itself abstract. Abstractness exemplifies existence, which itself exists. I don't see the trouble for realism in any of this.
Joey wrote: Hi Demurph and Luke,Thanks for your responses and clarifications. I guess I'd like to know (unless you've already alluded to it) what your theories of existence are. If some universals e.g. propertyhood can exemplify themselves or are "metaphysically simple" as Demurph says, then we don't need to explain their existence in terms of other universals, or basically, their existence doesn't depend on the existence of other universals (hence ending the regress)? Thus it'd seem (according to Luke) that existence just exists? If so then if we believe in aseity, we can say logically prior to God's creation/conceptualization of universals, God just is, and his existence need not depend on possessing properties first e.g. his nature?Regards,Joey
Luke wrote: demurph, why do you think that Aristotelianism can handle self-exemplification better than Platonism (contemporary Platonism, not Plato's Platonism)?Why do you think it's weird that redness isn't itself red? That seems to be exactly right. I would think any result that implied otherwise was weird. Balls and fire trucks are red, not redness itself. Do you think sphericity is spherical? Wisdom wise? Materiality material? Concreteness concrete? Power powerful? Eloquence eloquent?