Intrinsic And Extrinsic Properties Pdf
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We have some of our properties purely in virtue of the way we are. Our mass is an example. We have other properties in virtue of the way we interact with the world. Our weight is an example.
Intrinsic and extrinsic properties
We have some of our properties purely in virtue of the way we are. Our mass is an example. We have other properties in virtue of the way we interact with the world.
Our weight is an example. The former are the intrinsic properties, the latter are the extrinsic properties. This seems to be an intuitive enough distinction to grasp, and hence the intuitive distinction has made its way into many discussions in philosophy, including discussions in ethics, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of physics. Unfortunately, when we look more closely at the intuitive distinction, we find reason to suspect that it conflates a few related distinctions, and that each of these distinctions is somewhat resistant to analysis.
The standard way to introduce the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties is by the use of a few orientating characterisations.
David Lewis provides the following list:. A sentence or statement or proposition that ascribes intrinsic properties to something is entirely about that thing; whereas an ascription of extrinsic properties to something is not entirely about that thing, though it may well be about some larger whole which includes that thing as part. Lewis a: A thing has its intrinsic properties in virtue of the way that thing itself, and nothing else, is. Not so for extrinsic properties, though a thing may well have these in virtue of the way some larger whole is … Lewis a: If something has an intrinsic property, then so does any perfect duplicate of that thing; whereas duplicates situated in different surroundings will differ in their extrinsic properties.
The other way to introduce the subject matter is by providing examples of paradigmatic intrinsic and extrinsic properties. One half of this task is easy: everyone agrees that being an uncle is extrinsic, as is being six metres from a rhododendron.
The problem with using this method to introduce the distinction is that there is much less agreement about which properties are intrinsic. Lewis also mentions charge and internal structure as being examples of intrinsic properties. For ease of exposition, we will assume below that shape properties are intrinsic. We will also assume that properties like being made of tin, and having a mass of kg are intrinsic.
The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties plays an essential role in stating several interesting philosophical problems. Historically, the most prominent of these has to do with notions of intrinsic value. To this day there is still much debate over whether this distinction can be sustained Feldman , Kagan , and, if it can, which kinds of things possess intrinsic value Krebs In particular, one of the central topics in contemporary environmental ethics is the question of which kinds of things intelligent beings, conscious beings, living things, species, etc might have intrinsic value.
Still, though that event constituted or perhaps was constituted by a change in Socrates, it did not in itself constitute a change in Xanthippe. Geach noted that we can distinguish between real changes, such as what occurs in Socrates when he dies, from mere changes in which predicates one satisfies, such as what occurs in Xanthippe when Socrates dies. There is something of a consensus that an object undergoes real change in an event iff there is some intrinsic property it satisfied before the event but not afterwards.
Lewis argues that this is inconsistent with the idea that objects undergo real change. So any property that an object can change must be extrinsic, so nothing undergoes real change.
Lewis says that this argument supports the rival theory of perdurantism , which says that objects persist by having different temporal parts at different times. While this argument is controversial see Haslanger , Johnston and Lowe for some responses , it does show how considerations about intrinsicality can resonate within quite different areas of metaphysics.
A third major area where the concept of intrinsicality has been put to work is in stating various supervenience theses. Frank Jackson defines physicalism in terms of duplication and physical duplication, which are in turn defined in terms of intrinsic properties.
And many internalist theories in epistemology are based around the intuition that whether a thinker is justified in believing some proposition supervenes on the intrinsic properties of the thinker.
A fourth area where the concept of intrinsically has been employed is to state recombination principles intended to describe what possible states of the world there are. See Lewis a. As is standard in philosophical usage, each thing is counted as a part of itself. Hence, things are not wholly distinct from themselves. This defect with R1 can be fixed by replacing R1 with R2. Most of the philosophical applications of intrinsicality are independent of its precise analysis.
Work on its analysis, however, has helped clarify these applications by allowing us to distinguish between different notions of intrinscality and different notions in the vicinity of intrinsicality, and by giving us a greater understanding of these various notions and of what properties satisfy them. This observation provides a strong argument against various theories that appeal to the intuitive intrinsicality of some everyday property.
Many applications of the distinction are cited by I. Wlodzimierz Rabinowicz uses the distinction to formulate principles of universalizability for moral principles and natural laws.
And E. Khamara uses a distinction between relational and non-relational properties to state a non-trivial version of the principle of Identity of Indiscernibles.
These are:. It follows from at least the third of these characterisations that something can have an extrinsic property in an intrinsic fashion. For example, since every duplicate of a piece of tin has the property of being made of tin, every duplicate of a piece of tin also has the extrinsic property of being either made of tin or married.
As a result, it follows from the third characterisation that each piece of tin has the property of being either made of tin or married in an intrinsic fashion, despite this property being extrinsic. Humberstone , p. This modifier takes predicates as arguments rather than names of properties or variables ranging over properties. For example, a nominalist might claim that a table is intrinsically rectangular, while claiming to consistently hold that there is no property of being rectangular.
For simplicity, we will assume in the following that nominalism is false and that there are abundantly many properties and relations, some of which are intrinsic and some of which are extrinsic.
See, for example, Figdor While this article focuses on the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic one-place properties, it is important to recognize that the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic also applies to multiple place relations.
As in the case of one-place properties, the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic multiple place relations can be introduced by characterisations and examples. One characterisation is the following:. Examples of extrinsic two-place relations include being as popular as , and having the same cousin as.
Possible examples of intrinsic two-place relations include being 1 m away from and being made of the same type of metal as. The claim that distance relations like being 1 m away from are intrinsic will be denied by philosophers who deny that shape properties are intrinsic. A characterisation of this local notion is:.
Dunn is surely right in saying that this is a misuse of the terms. A more interesting distinction is noted by Brian Ellis ; discussed in Humberstone See also Figdor and Figdor for a discussion of a related notion of intrinsicality. Ellis suggests we should distinguish between properties that objects have independently of any outside forces acting on them what we will call the Ellis-intrinsic properties , and those that they have in virtue of those outside forces the Ellis-extrinsic properties.
For many objects such as, say, a stretched rubber band their shape will be dependent on the outside forces acting on them, so their shape will be Ellis-extrinsic. Such a judgement may seem a little hasty, but in any case we will turn now to distinctions that have received more attention in the philosophical literature.
This seems to be a mistake since many properties seem to be both be relational and intrinsic. For example, most people have the property having longer legs than arms , and indeed seem to have this property in an intrinsic fashion, even though the property consists in a certain relation being satisfied.
For example, the property of having a proper part is surely intrinsic, but it also appears to be a relational property. As Humberstone notes, some might respond by suggesting that a relational property is one such that if an object has it, then it bears some relation to a non-part of it. Not being within a mile of a rhododendron is clearly relational, but does not consist in bearing a relation to any non-part, as we can see by the fact that a non-rhododendron all alone in a world can satisfy it.
A further response might be to say that a relational property should be a property that involves a relation that can only relate wholly distinct things, and that, given this construal of a relational property, non-intrinsic properties are relational properties.
However, this response faces difficulties also. For example, this account would presumably classify the property of being such that there is a cube as being intrinsic. This property, however, is not intrinsic. While the notion of a relational property should be distinguished from the notion of a non-intrinsic property, it might be that the notion of intrinsic properties can be given an account in terms of relationality.
One such account due to Francesscotti is discussed in the supplement:. We now turn to the notion of intrinsicality characterised by the characterisations listed in section 1. Or perhaps better, we now turn to the notions of intrinsicality characterised by these characterisations, since, while Lewis thought that each of these characterisations characterise a single notion of intrinsically, it is plausible that they characterise different notions. In this subsection, we will discuss the notion characterised by the first characterisation which involves aboutness.
In the next two subsections, we will discuss the notions characterised by the other two characterisations. As Marshall a points out, the notion of aboutness employed in this characterisation is plausibly that of intrinsic aboutness , where intrinsic aboutness can be intuitively characterised by 1.
Using this definition, we can replace the schema 2 with the sentence 3. In contrast, 3 plausibly classifies being an uncle as non-intrinsic, since its ascription to a thing is not only about how it and its parts are and how they are related to each other, but also about how it is related to things outside of it. Finally, 3 also appears to classify being such that there is a number as non-intrinsic, even if it is necessary that there are numbers.
This is because the ascription of this property to Clinton, namely the state of affairs that Clinton is such that there is a number, appears to be not wholly about how Clinton is, but is also about how things wholly distinct from Clinton are.
We will assume that the intuition underlying this judgement is correct. However, this is not uncontroversial. See Sider for a rejection of a closely related intuition and Eddon for a reply to this rejection.
In the following, we will call the properties classified as intrinsic by 3 local properties, and call the properties classified by 3 as not intrinsic non-local properties. This notion of a local property needs to be distinguished from the local conception of something having a property in an intrinsic fashion discussed in section 1.
Call the properties that are classified as intrinsic by 4 interior properties, and call the properties that are classified as non-intrinsic by 4 exterior properties. One possible answer is that it is meant to have a reading corresponding to metaphysical grounding, where metaphysical grounding is a non-causal explanatory relation on states of affairs, such that, if one state of affairs metaphysically grounds another state of affairs then it metaphysically necessitates it.
It follows from this, and the necessity of 5 and 6 , that 8 is necessarily true. Hence, it follows from 7 and the necessity of 8 that 9 is possibly true. However, 9 is necessarily false, since foundational facts cannot be metaphysically grounded by any facts. Just as being cubical is intuitively a local property, while being an uncle and being such that there is a number are intuitively non-local properties, the former property is intuitively an identity interiority property, while the latter properties are both intuitively not identity interior.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Properties
I have some of my properties purely in virtue of the way I am. My mass is an example. I have other properties in virtue of the way I interact with the world. My weight is an example. The former are the intrinsic properties, the latter are the extrinsic properties.
Robert Franscecotti , has outlined an analysis that takes the concept of intrinsicality as non-relationality to be primary. Francescotti takes a property to be extrinsic if an object possesses it in virtue of its relations to other objects. So being a duplicate of Jack and being such that the number 17 exists are extrinsic, while being identical to Jack and being a vertebrate i. Francescotti notes that not all relational properties are extrinsic. Having a vertebral column , for instance, seems to be relational in that it consists of a relation to a vertebral column, but it is also an intrinsic property.
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David A. I propose an analysis of the metaphysically important distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties, and, in the process, provide a neglected model for the analysis of recalcitrant distinctions generally. First, I recap some difficulties with Kim's well-known proposal and its recent descendants. Unusually, my proposal is holistic, but I argue that it is in a certain kind of equilibrium and so probably pins down the target distinction uniquely. Finally, I suggest diagnoses of the previous failed attempts to analyse the distinction.
In science and engineering, an intrinsic property is a property of a specified subject that exists itself or within the subject. An extrinsic property is not essential or inherent to the subject that is being characterized.
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