Why Intrinsicness Should Be Defined in a Non-reductive Way

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien
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Defining the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties has turned out to be one of the most difficult and controversial tasks in contemporary metaphysics. It is generally assumed that a definition of intrinsicness should aim to avoid as many counterexamples as possible and reduce the notion to less controversial philosophical notions. In this paper, the author argues for a new methodological approach to defining intrinsicness. Rather than trying to cover as many intuitive examples as possible, a definition of intrinsicness should reflect the crucial features of our intuitive understanding of the notion, and one of these features is that the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction has to be characterized in a non-reductive way.

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