By Emanuel Tov

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2 kg might have been compatible with weighing 28 kg, or that it might have been only slightly different from weighing 28 kg. Could red conceivably have been quite similar to green? How might an atomist respond? The response which some interpreters see in Leibniz is to bite the bullet of contingency (Millikan 1984, p. 269; cf. Adams 1995, pp. 393–394). In themselves any two properties are compossible; if in fact two properties cannot be coinstantiated, that is because some external agent, namely God, made it impossible for them to be coinstantiated.

There is a fairly drastic response to these questions discernible in Leibniz, and a subtle response offered by David Armstrong. I now shall contend that neither of these responses is acceptable. This will amount to an argument that we should reject the atomism which compels us to choose between these responses. Thereby it will amount to an argument that we have no reason not to agree that contrast-with-contraries is central to any property’s identity. But first, the embarrassing questions themselves.

So we have in principle a great deal of latitude as to which otherworldly objects we will treat as counterparts to a given individual object or kind or stuff—as truthmakers for statements about ways the given object or kind or stuff could possibly be, even though 18 Chapter 1 it is not actually that way. Yet the interests and presuppositions we bring with us, to any given conversational context, will limit what can count there as counterparts. “Two things may be counterparts in one context, but not in another; or it may be indeterminate whether two things are counterparts” (1986b, p.

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