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Colloquium: Umrao Sethi (CUNY Lehman College), “Varieties of Instantiation”
November 28, 2018 @ 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm
Each colloquium will be held on Wednesday from 4:15 P.M. to 6:15 P.M.
All colloquia will take place at the GC in rooms 9-204/9-205 except as otherwise noted.
Umrao Sethi (CUNY Lehman College)
“Varieties of Instantiation”
Abstract: Working with the assumption that properties depend for their instantiation on substances, I argue against a unitary conception of instantiation. I focus on the sensible qualities in particular. On the standard view, a property is instantiated just in case there is a substance for the property to inhere in. But this view cannot make sense of how properties that are mind-dependent depend for their instantiation on minds. Given that the mind is never itself literally red, round or garlicky, if we are to understand the proposal that these qualities may be mind-dependent, we need an alternative account of how a property can be instantiated. Appealing to some insights from Berkeley, I defend a view on which a property can be instantiated not in virtue of having a bearer—mental or material—but rather in virtue of being the object of a conscious act of awareness. In the second half of the talk, I argue that helping ourselves to both varieties of instantiation—inherence and awareness—ultimately gives us the best account, both of the nature of the qualities themselves, and of our perception of them.