Possible predicates and actual properties

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3 Scopus citations


In “Properties and the Interpretation of Second-Order Logic” (Hale, Philos Math 21:133–156, 2013) Bob Hale develops and defends a deflationary conception of properties where a property with particular satisfaction conditions actually (and in fact necessarily) exists if and only if it is possible that a predicate with those same satisfaction conditions exists. He argues further that, since our languages are finitary, there are at most countably infinitely many properties and, as a result, the account fails to underwrite the standard semantics for second-order logic. Here a more lenient version of the view is explored, which allows for the possibility of countably infinite predicates understood as the product of linguistic supertasks. This enriched deflationist account of properties—the Infinitary Deflationary Conception of Existence—supports the standard semantics for models with countable first-order domains, and allows one to prove the categoricity of the second-order Peano axioms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2555-2582
Number of pages28
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Abundant conception of properties
  • Comprehension
  • Deflationism
  • Logic
  • Properties
  • Second-order logic


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