Natural Properties, Supervenience, and Mereology

  • Andrea Borghini College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, USA
  • Giorgio Lando Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy
Keywords: mereology


The interpretation of Lewis‘s doctrine of natural properties is difficult and controversial, especially when it comes to the bearers of natural properties. According to the prevailing reading – the minimalist view – perfectly natural properties pertain to the micro-physical realm and are instantiated by entities without proper parts or point-like. This paper argues that there are reasons internal to a broadly Lewisian kind of metaphysics to think that the minimalist view is fundamentally flawed and that a liberal view, according to which natural properties are instantiated at several or even at all levels of reality, should be preferred. Our argument proceeds by reviewing those core principles of Lewis‘s metaphysics that are most likely to constrain the size of the bearers of natural properties: the principle of Humean supervenience, the principle of recombination in modal realism, the hypothesis of gunk, and the thesis of composition as identity.

How to Cite
Borghini, A., & Lando, G. (2018). Natural Properties, Supervenience, and Mereology. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 4(19), 79-104. Retrieved from