Persistence: Intrinsic vs extrinsic
Monadic from dyadic properties
- Consider the relation x loves y. We can say that two things, Sam and Pam, stand in the relation, or we can say that one thing, say Sam, has the monadic property x loves Pam.
- So any relation Rxy can be turned into a monadic property by sticking a value in for either x or y. If Rab, then a has the monadic property, call it P, of being R-related-to-b, i.e. Pa.
- If we look at the structure of P, supposing it has one, we see that it is relational, being defined from R. So even properties that are monadic in one sense can be relational in another, structural sense.
- Lewis's objection to the endurantist that relativizes intrinsic properties to times relies only about being relational in the structural sense.
Intrinsic vs extrinsic
- A property is intrinsic if it is had completely in virtue of the haver and nothing else. In order to determine whether P is intrinsically had by x, we need only "look at" x.
- That means relations can be intrinsic. That I have a certain part, say a hand, is intrinsic because it concerns only me, which includes my parts. Just look at me to figure out whether I have a hand.
- If two things x and y share no common part, then any relation between x and y cannot be intrinsic (intuitively). So if I and a time share no common part, then my standing in some relation to a time cannot be intrinsic
Intrinsic and extrinsic relations
- A relation Rxy can be intrinsic if it "supervenes" on the intrinsic natures of its relata. To determine whether Rxy, we need only "look at" x and at y. Lewis calls such a relation internal. E.g. let R be "is the same height as".
- He calls an external relation one that supervenes on the intrinsic nature of the sum of the relata. E.g. whether x is a certain spatial distance y isn't internal, but it does supervene on the sum of x and y, and is hence external.
Temporary intrinsic relations
- Could x is bent at t be intrinsic/internal? Suppose t has x as a part (as Lewis believes). Then we need only look at t to know whether x is bent at t, so it is. So even if there were no intrinsic properties, we should hope that x is bent at t should be an intrinsic relation.
- But what if times are not just sums of concreta? Is time really something that things could stand in relation to? If not, Lewis's argument fails. The locution "x is bent at t" will not be analyzable in terms of a relation to a time.
- How then to analyze it? Moreover, how to analyze it so that it involves the intrinsic property being bent? Haslanger attempts a response to which Lewis objects in Tensing the Copulsa, one of our next readings.