Property (philosophy)

In philosophy , mathematics , and logic , a property is a characteristic of an object ; a red object is said to have the property of redness. The property may be considered a form of property in its own right. A property, but it may be instantiated , and often in more than one thing. It differs from the logical / mathematical concept of class by not HAVING Any concept of extensionality , and from the philosophical concept of classin that a property is considered to be distinct from the objects which possesses it. Understanding how different individual entities (or particulars) In Some can have some sense of the Saami properties is the basis of the problem of universals . The terms attribute and quality have similar meanings.

Essential and accidental properties

In classical Aristotelian terminology, a property (Greek: idion , Latin: proprium ) is one of the predicables . It is a non- essential quality of a species (like an accident ), but a quality which is nevertheless characteristically present in members of that species. For example, “ability to laugh” may be considered a special characteristic of human beings. However, “laughter” is not an essential quality of the human species , whose Aristotelian definition of “rational animal” does not require laughter. Therefore, in the classical framework, properties are distinctive qualities that are not necessarily required for the continued existence of an entity but are, nevertheless, possessed by the entity.

Determinate and determinable properties

A property may be classified as either determinate or determinable. A determinable property is one that can get more specific. For example, color is a determinable property because it can be restricted to redness, blueness, etc. [1] A determinate property is one that can not become more specific. This distinction may be useful in dealing with issues of identity . [2]

Lovely and suspect qualities

Daniel Dennett distinguishes between beautiful properties (such as loveliness itself), which, although they require an observation to be recognized, exist latently in perceivable objects; and suspect properties qui-have no existence at all up to observe Attributed by year (Such as being white Suspected of a crime) [3]

Property dualism

Main article: Property dualism
Property dualism: the exemplification of two types of property

Property dualism Describes a category of positions in the philosophy of mind qui Hold That, ALTHOUGH the world is constituted of just one kind of substance -the physical kind-there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties . In other words, it is the view that non-physical, mental properties (such as beliefs, desires and emotions) inhere in some physical substances (ie brains).

Properties in mathematics

In mathematical terminology , a property p defined for all Elements of a set X is usually defined as a function p : X → {true, false}, That Is the property holds true whenever will; or equivalently, as the subset of X for qui p holds; ie the set { x | p ( x ) = true}; p is icts indicator function . It May be OBJECTED (see above) That this olefins Merely the extension of a property, and says nothing about what causes the property to hold for exactly Those gains.

Properties and predicates

The ontological fact that has a property by the application of a predicate to a subject . However, any grammatical predicate whatsoever to be a property, or to have a common property, leads to certain difficulties, such as Russell’s paradox and the Grelling-Nelson paradox . Moreover, a real property can imply a host of true predicates: for instance, if X has the property of weighing more than 2 kilos, then the predicates “..weighs more than 1.9 kilos”, “..weighs more than 1.8 kilos” , etc., are all true of it. Other predicates, such as “is an individual”, or “has some properties” are uninformative or vacuous.Cambridge properties “ as legitimate. [4]

Intrinsic and extrinsic properties

Main article: Intrinsic and extrinsic properties (philosophy)

An intrinsic property is a property that has an object or a hash of itself, regardless of other things, including its context. An extrinsic (or relational ) property is a property that depends on a thing’s relationship with other things. For example, mass is a physical property of any physical object , wherein the weight is an extrinsic property that varies depending on the strength of the gravitational field in which the respective object is located.


A relation is often considered by whom? ] to be a more general case of a property. Relationships are true of several particulars, or shared among them. Thus the relation “.. is taller than ..” holds “between” two individuals, who would occupy the two ellipses (‘..’). Relations can be expressed by N-place predicates, where N is greater than 1.

It is widely accepted by whom? ] that there are at least some apparent relational properties which are derived from non-relational (or 1-place) properties. For instance “A is heavier than B” is a relational predicate , but it is derived from the two non relational properties: the mass of A and the mass of B. Such relationships are called external relations, as opposed to the most internal relationships . [5] Some philosophers believe that all relations are external, leading to a skepticism about relationships in general, on the basis that external relations have no fundamental existence. quote needed ]

See also

  • Abstraction
  • Doctrine of internal relations
  • Identity of indiscernibles (or ” Leibniz’s law”)
  • intension
  • Unary relation


  1. Jump up^ Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy Determinate and determinable Properties
  2. Jump up^ Georges Dicker (1998). Hume’s Epistemology & Metaphysics . Routledge. p. 31.
  3. Jump up^ “Lovely and Suspect Qualities” . Retrieved 3 August 2016 .
  4. Jump up^ Nelson, Michael (1 January 2012). Zalta, Edward N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Retrieved 3 August 2016 – via Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  5. Jump up^ George Moore , External and Internal Relations