Bradley's Regress, Russell's States of Affairs, and Some General Remarks on the Problem

  • Holger Leerhoff University of Konstanz
Keywords: ontology, Bradley, Russell


In this paper, I will give a presentation of Bradley's two main arguments against the reality of relations. Whereas one of his arguments is highly specific to Bradley's metaphysical background, his famous regress argument seems to pose a serious threat not only for ontological pluralism, but especially for states of affairs as an ontological category. Amongst the proponents of states-of-affairs ontologies two groups can be distinguished: One group holds states of affairs to be complexes consisting of their particular and universal constituents alone, the other holds that there has to be a "unifying relation" of some sort to establish the unity of a given state of affairs. Bradley's regress is often conceived to be a compelling argument against the first and for the latter. I will argue that the latter approaches have no real advantage over the simpler theories—neither in the light of Bradley's regress nor in other respects.

How to Cite
Leerhoff, H. (2008). Bradley’s Regress, Russell’s States of Affairs, and Some General Remarks on the Problem. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 1(2), 249-264.