In “Names for Relations,” Van Inwagen presents a semantic problem about names for non-symmetric relations, based on the presupposition that there are converse relations. This paper first provides an analysis of Van Inwagen’s problem and then addresses it by appealing to o-roles such as ‘agent,’ ‘patient,’ ‘theme,’ instrument, etc., and by distinguishing sparse and abundant levels of properties and relations. At the sparse level, o-roles are appealed to in order to tackle the problem of relational order and reject converse relations. At the abundant level, converse relations are recovered in the light of the sequential character of thinking, speaking and writing, andVan Inwagen problem is solved by giving due consideration to the order inwhich relata are assigned o-roles and referred to.

Van Inwagen’s Approach to Relations and the Theory of O-Roles

Francesco Orilia
2019-01-01

Abstract

In “Names for Relations,” Van Inwagen presents a semantic problem about names for non-symmetric relations, based on the presupposition that there are converse relations. This paper first provides an analysis of Van Inwagen’s problem and then addresses it by appealing to o-roles such as ‘agent,’ ‘patient,’ ‘theme,’ instrument, etc., and by distinguishing sparse and abundant levels of properties and relations. At the sparse level, o-roles are appealed to in order to tackle the problem of relational order and reject converse relations. At the abundant level, converse relations are recovered in the light of the sequential character of thinking, speaking and writing, andVan Inwagen problem is solved by giving due consideration to the order inwhich relata are assigned o-roles and referred to.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11393/265711
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