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Bare particular

In metaphysics, Bare particular is what a substance is called when considered independently of its properties. It seems that substance theories are committed to the existence of bare particulars. But, the critic maintains, the very notion of a thing with no properties is absurd. We just cannot conceive of a thing without any properties. John Locke is famous for describing a substance as "a something, I know not what." It seems that as soon as we get the fuzziest notion of a thing in mind, we are thinking of some property or other. The problem is not just that it is physically impossible that we might stumble across a bare particular, or a propertyless thing on our strolls about town. The point is that the very notion of a propertyless thing is strange: we just have no such notion, and perhaps cannot have such a notion.

That at least is what the bundle theory's advocate might say. Indeed, we might say that this argument against the substance theory is one main argument for the bundle theory; so see also bundle theory, where this article is developed further.

The above paragraphs are also found at substance theory. Please keep these two articles consistent.

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