Monday, October 22, 2012

Our First Submission! (Untitled)

Since this is our first post, a few prefatory remarks: Please remember to check out the Instructions for Commentors page before commenting. In particular, please remember that the primary purpose of TVP is to get feedback about journals and other venues for publication, not to critique the work itself (except where this is relevant to its suitability for a particular venue). If you would like to discuss something with the author other than appropriate venues (or that is otherwise not appropriate for the comments section) you may email the Current Author at The Current Author will have access to this address until Sunday night (10/28). Our second session will begin at 9am next Monday (10/29).

David Lewis' best-system account of lawhood does not get off the ground unless some 'elite minority' of attributes (i.e., properties or relations) is singled out for special treatment. Lewis thought that this elite class of attributes is formed by the perfectly natural ones, but this idea faces two related challenges: first, the concept of a perfectly natural attribute can easily seem rather mysterious – at least no less so than the concepts of universal and trope on the basis of which it may (according to Lewis) be explicated if it is not taken as primitive. Second, in part because of its mysterious character, it is not clear why the concept of perfectly natural attribute should play any special role in an account of lawhood. In this paper, I offer an account of what it means for an attribute to be simple, and argue that the concept of a simple attribute is better suited for the role that, in Lewis' best-system account of lawhood, is played by the concept of a perfectly natural attribute.

Perfectly natural properties; Laws of nature; David Lewis

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Currently under review at Erkenntnis


  1. Well, one reason why commenting on this one may seem somewhat superfluous is that it is already under review - why should one give recommendations on where to submit _this paper_ as it's already under review? Just a thought of constructive criticism. All the best for the blog!

  2. It makes sense to give recommendations on where to send a paper under review because papers are often rejected and the author may be unsure of where to send it next if it is.