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Abstract

This article articulates and defends F. H. Bradley's regress argument against external relations using contemporary analytic techniques and conceptuality. Bradley's argument is usually quickly dismissed as if it were beneath serious consideration. But I shall maintain that Bradley's argument, suitably reconstructed, is a powerful argument, plausibly premised, and free of such obvious fallacies as petitio principii. Thus it does not rest on the question-begging assumption that all relations are internal, as Russell, and more recently van Inwagen, maintain. Bradley does not attack external relations in order to affirm a doctrine of internal relations, and his monism is not derived from the internality of all relations, but from the self-contradictory nature of all relations. For Bradley, it is the “relational situation”as such that is ontologically defective.