Bundle Theory and the Problem of Thick Character

Robert K. Garcia


The challenge of thick character consists in explaining the apparent fact that one object can be charactered in many ways. If we assume a trope bundle theory, we ought to answer in turn the two following questions: (P1) What are the requirements on a trope bundle theory if it is to adequately account for thick-character?; (P2) Is a trope bundle theory that meets those requirements preferable to rival theories? In order to address the above questions, the paper proceeds as follows. In the first section I cover two preliminary matters: I introduce the concept of thick-character and distinguish it from other related concepts. Then, I sketch several leading accounts of character and situate bundle theory among them. Also, I pick up (Q1) and argue that there are three requirements on a trope bundle theory if it is to adequately account for thick-character. Lastly, in the third section I pick up (Q2) and argue that the requirements spell trouble for trope bundle theory. This trouble, I argue, indicates that trope bundle theory—and hence bundle theory simpliciter—fails to better its chief rival, substance-attribute theory.


Bundle Theory; Tropes; Thick Character; Properties; Substance


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22370/rhv2020iss16pp111-136

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