What is it to be a relation? What are the main kinds of relation? In order to answer the first question, we look at the relations between relations, functions and sets, the nature of order and directionality, and nominalistic accounts of relations. In order to answer the second question, we look at external vs internal, formal vs material, simple vs complex relations, at relational theories of space, time and spacetime, and at the view that intentionality is a relation. Our third question is whether there is any good reason to believe that there are relations. Ever since the discovery of the logic and philosophy of relations by Frege and Russell, there has been a view that philosophers before Frege did not or could not take relations seriously. Recently, it has been argued by some metaphysicians who have a fairly good idea of what it is to be a relation that there are no relations. Are they right?
Students will be evaluated based on a final research paper.