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Abstract

The existence of complex predicates seems to support an abundant conception of properties. Specifically, the application conditions for complex predicates seem to be explained by the distribution of a sparser base of predicates. This explanatory link might suggest that the existence and distribution of properties expressed by complex predicates are explained by the existence and distribution of a sparser base of properties. Thus, complex predicates seem to legitimize the assumption of a wide array of properties. The additional properties are no explanatory addition to the sparse base. I argue, however, that construing complex predicates as expressing properties undermines the explanatory links between simple and complex predications. The argument explores a variety of accounts of complex predicates currently on offer and develops a number of themes from the work of Herbert Hochberg.