Instances of Instantiation: Distinguishing between Subjective and Objective Properties

Other Titles


This thesis explores the prospects of a distinction between subjective and objective properties in terms of how they are instantiated. While there are many ways in which the subjective can be separated from the objective, the one that interests me here is the difference between properties instantiated subjectively and properties instantiated objectively. The idea is that in some cases what makes it so that object o has the property p is what a thinking subject thinks of it or how she reacts to it, while in other cases what makes it so that o has p has nothing to do with what the subject thinks or does. In the first kind of case, the instantiation of the property is mind-dependent, or subjective, and in the second kind of case the instantiation is mind-independent, or objective. I examine ways to draw a distinction between subjective and objective properties in this sense and defend the possibility of such a distinction against conceivable threats. I then go on to arguing that instead of sorting properties into two groups, subjective and objective, it is more fruitful to think of them as on a continuum ranging from entirely subjective to entirely objective. While there may be cases of properties that are entirely objective, i.e. instantiated only objectively, finding entirely subjective properties if more difficult. Candidates for subjective properties do not seem to be exclusively subjective; i.e. they are instantiated objectively to some extent. I use color as a paradigm case to argue for my account of properties whose instantiation is partly objective and partly subjective. I then go on to arguing that all sensory properties should be treated as color in this respect.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue



Date Issued




philosophy; metaphysics


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Rights URI


dissertation or thesis

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record