Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

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Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy and Public Affairs

Reader 1

James Kreines

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This paper argues for the existence of certain instances of categorical properties in non-physical qualia. There are two types of properties: dispositional properties and categorical properties. Dispositional properties are such that they derive their identity from their relationships to other dispositional properties. Conversely, categorical properties have an identity that exists outside of their relationship to other properties and do not depend on the existence of other properties to derive their identity. The dispositional monist theory claims that all properties are dispositional. In this paper, I present the dispositional monist theory by explaining an account given by Alexander Bird in his paper “The Regress of Pure Powers?”. Then, I present the primary problem with dispositional monism: that it would result in a regress and the identities of dispositional properties disappear and become purely structural. To solve this problem, I give an account using the work of Simon Blackburn from his paper “Filling in Space” and Frank Jackson from his paper “Epiphenomenal Qualia” to argue that qualia are an instance of categorical properties that put an end to the regress and allow all properties to have identity.

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