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Material objects and essential bundle theory

Barker, Stephen; Jago, Mark


Associate Professor and Reader in Philosophy

Professor of Philosophy


In this paper we present a new metaphysical theory of material objects. On our theory, objects are bundles of property instances, where those properties give the nature or essence of that object. We call the theory essential bundle theory. Property possession is not analysed as bundle-membership, as in traditional bundle theories, since accidental properties are not included in the object’s bundle. We have a different story to tell about accidental property possession. This move reaps many benefits. Essential bundle theory delivers a simple theory of the essential properties of material objects; an explanation of how object coincidence can arise; an actual-world ground for modal differences between coincident objects; a simple story about intrinsic properties; and a plausible account of certain ubiquitous cases of causal overdetermination.


Barker, S., & Jago, M. (2017). Material objects and essential bundle theory. Philosophical Studies,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 27, 2017
Publication Date Oct 27, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 13, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 15, 2018
Journal Philosophical Studies
Print ISSN 0554-0739
Electronic ISSN 1573-0883
Publisher Philosophy Documentation Center
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Ontology; Material objects; Bundle theory; Essence; Nature
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


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