The issue of universals an analysis of the realist point of view

Notes to The Medieval Problem of Universals 1. In a somewhat free translation: To be sure, there were medieval authors who were skeptical about the reconcilability of Plato and Aristotle on the issue of universals. But in my judgment they arrived late, so they strove in vain to reconcile two dead men, who could have reconciled as long as they were alive, but disagreed.

The issue of universals an analysis of the realist point of view

The wholeconstituent model and the PCI both borrowed from science and inappropriate to ontological analysis are rejected in favour of a natural kindaccident model of structure. Thus All non-identicals any two things must be discernible or if different in number, then somehow different in nature The Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles If what are putatively two things call them a and b do not differ in any attribute, they are really one and the same thing designated by two names, i.

The issue of universals an analysis of the realist point of view

Or in logical terms Necessarily, for any x, y, and P, where x and y are any concrete objects and P is any property, if P is a property of x if and only if P is a property of y, then x and y are identical. Or, the same thing in symbols? Re i The BTU combines two theses a Properties or attributes are universals and hence identically the same in all the individuals that jointly instantiate or exemplify them realist thesis properties are universals b Properties or attributes are the only constituents of individuals, i.

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Property must be interpreted more narrowly to avoid triviality. B has ten different hands since there need be no discernible difference by which to confirm or disconfirm that these items are in fact two, three, etc. But if assertions of difference are in principle unverifiable, then they are meaningless according to a widely accepted criterion of meaning.

Bs counter-example demonstration of the possibility of two or more numerically distinct yet indiscernible objects indiscernible counterpartsor of the falsity of PII and As constant retort that this is unverifiable and hence meaningless.

Note Since the PII can be formulated see above as? Aim to Reconcile the Individual-Characte r Analysis of Subject-Predicate Propositions BPU and the Principle of Acquaintance, a pet principle of empiricism which states roughly anything posited as a basic entity or referent of an indefinable term must be immediately given in experience.

Dialectics versus Phenomenology 4. Solution middle Allaires attempt to show phenomenologically that, unlike the case of Bergmanns red spot, where it is hard to see that a bare particular is immediately given, there is no problem about our just seeing this in the manner of direct acquaintance in the case of two exactly similar red discs.

Six Objections to 1 the crude version if a thing is nothing but a set of properties BTUthen O1 there exists an actual thing for every actual set of properties O2 actual things exist necessarily since properties do i. But the consequences in O4 O6 are all false. The 2 sophisticated version of BTU a thing is a set of properties that are co-instantiated evades O1 O3.

Thus, O1 a set of properties constitute a thing only if co-instantiated O2 any thing is capable of not existing if its properties, which necessarily exist, cease to be co-instantiated and O3 doubletons need not exemplify their members as things do, since things do owing to the special relation of co-instantiation which is more than membership in a set.

But it cannot evade O4O6 despite the efforts of Loux and others to show that it can. The new bundle theory that avoids the objections O4 O6 is modelled on the new phenomenalism it does not populate the world with individual that are O4 incapable of change, O5 devoid of accidental properties, and O6 qualitatively unique because it does not populate the world with individuals at all, but eliminates individuals in favour of properties that are co-instantiated at one or more places in space.

Although Ayer has come close, no one has ever held this theory which, by eliminating physical things altogether, would also eliminate any human being that holds it.

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Thus, all three versions fail. The alternative is a theory involving substance though not as a bare particular. Is the defence in question circular, or is it self-contradictory? What about the other circularity issue p.

Q2 How do Loux and Russell try to secure the bundle theory against the objection that all subject-predicate propositions are tautologies and all predicates necessary since any predicate property is always already contained in the subject bundle? Q3 Describe the core-bundle approach to restoring a distinction between necessary and accidental properties.

Is it more promising? What about the WIP-property approach? Step i Summary of VCs last three criticisms of the second version on which 1 A thing is a bundle of co-instantiated properties. Step ii Distinction of the problems of a individuation and b identity across time.

Step ii Substitute for O3 a weaker version of the objection called O4 to the effect that 3 is empirically unsupported. Step iii what makes 04 seem a plausible objection to 3 is that the reductivist WBT cannot appeal to their unique spatial and temporal properties in order to individuate particulars without circularly or inconsistently appealing to irreducible things as spatio-temporal reference points.

In other words, spatial and temporal properties are not pure properties, and 4 No two things in fact have all pure properties in common is empirically unsupported. Step iv Way out The WBT can be further weakened by substituting 5 a small number of things for 4 no two things and 5 is empirically well supported.

Consideration of O3 as the only objection capable of refuting the SBT now that O1 and O2 have been shown to have no force against it. Step ii Consideration of whether counter-examples of PII are possible if as Russell and Goodman argue position in physical space is among the pure monadic properties of a thing, then in order to imagine two objects one must imagine them as occupying different places in the visual field, and counter-examples like Blacks fail.

Conclusion Even the SBT remains unrefuted.Aristotle, Plato's student, took direct aim at the more bizarre elements of this view, and defended a more modest form of realism, according to which universals exist only in those things that exemplify them.

23 [See his Metaphysics, bk. 1, § 9 for criticisms of Plato, and Categories 2, for his own view.]. It is a shame that non-representational views such as platonism have tended to be sidelined, because arguably platonism is a stronger rival to Lewis’s modal realism than the ersatz approaches he carefully criticizes.

The issue of universals an analysis of the realist point of view

The platonic, non-representational approach avoids most of the objections that. In metaphysics, the problem of universals refers to the question of whether properties exist, and if so, what they are.

Universals were brought into metaphysics by Plato himself, and since then, they have been widely debated. But first, let us define universals in such a way that allows us. Arguments against the Entailment View (with Ewings rebuttals) (i) we do not have any positive insight into a Isnt Humes whole point that nothing like a necessary connection can be observed?

3. How does the regularity view eliminate the a "Part I: The Problem of Universals" is the property of its rightful owner. Do you have PowerPoint. At this point, the realists will say that the causal ‘nominalist’ had better accept universals or tropes after all, on pain of leaving the one over many puzzle hanging.

In order to respond to this realist challenge, the causal nominalist has two options. Or, from a different point of view, Burgess (forthcoming a).] Here the anti-realist attempts to saddle the realist with the now-familiar unnaturalized standpoint, the point of view that stands above, outside, or prior to, our best theories of the world, and from which is .

The Medieval Problem of Universals > Notes (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)