Original argument appearing in Chapters II and III of Appearance and reality - A metaphysical essay.

  • Bradley notes that there appears to be such a thing as ‘a lump of sugar’, and this thing appears to have qualities such as whiteness, sweetness, and hardness.
    • But what is this “thing” that bears properties?
      • On the one hand, it’s odd to assume that there is something to the lump of sugar beside its several qualities
        • So, postulating a property-less bearer of properties is incoherent.
      • On the other hand, he notes that the lump cannot merely be its qualities either, since the latter must somehow be united.
  • For Bradley, unity or “coexistence” of qualities presupposes relations.
  • But the ontology of relations is prone to the following infinite regress:
    • We postulate the relation that relates properties and
    • We then need a relation to relate to (and to ).

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