Metaphysics and nominalism

The dominant metaphysics in the 20th Century has therefore been various versions of Physicalism or Materialisma Monist solution which explains matter and mind as mere aspects of each other, or derivatives of a neutral substance.

Life[ edit ] William of Ockham was born in Ockham, Surrey in and joined the Franciscan order at an early age. In this area, as in many others, a nominalist strategy is to supply a nominalistically acceptable paraphrase of sentences that appear to posit abstract entities.

Nominalism in Metaphysics

But are his possible worlds universals? Often the requirement that abstract objects are causally inert is not an independent condition but is derived from the requirement that abstract objects are not spatiotemporal since it is assumed that only spatiotemporal entities can enter in causal relations.

But if every theoretical role played by abstracta can be played by concreta and vice versa, then one needs a further reason why one should postulate concreta only rather than abstracta only.

While one might speak of family resemblances between Ockham, Buridan, Marsilius and others, there are also striking differences. Endurantism, on the other hand, holds that a whole object - and the same object - exists at each moment of its history, Metaphysics and nominalism that the same tree persists regardless of how many leaves it loses.

Republic c The Platonic universals corresponding to the names "bed" and "beautiful" were the Form of the Bed and the Form of the Beautiful, or the Bed Itself and the Beautiful Itself.

Aristotle originally split his metaphysics into three main sections and these remain the main branches of metaphysics: This is the problem of the resemblance regress.

There are some ways out for the trope theorist.

Problem of universals

Thus, necessarily, methane is instantiated only if carbon is instantiated. Tropes are particulars, in the same sense in which individual people and Metaphysics and nominalism apples are particulars. A house can be explained by reference to the wood, metal, and glass that are combined in that particular way to form the house; or it could be explained in terms of the atoms that form it see the sections on Atomism and Reductionism.

But religious implications aside, nominalism does indeed reject Platonic realism as a requirement for thinking and speaking in general terms; and though it seems to deny also Aristotelian realism, such moderate nominalists as the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes affirm that some similarity exists between particulars and the general word applied to them—otherwise thought and speech would be impossible.

One solution to this is to embrace a version of Modal Realism, for instance David Lewis', according to which other possible worlds exist and contain things of the same kinds as the things in the actual world see Lewis a.

It may be more useful to say that a metaphysical statement usually implies an idea about the world or the universe, which may seem reasonable but is ultimately not empirically verifiable, testable or provable.

So the fictionalist nominalist needs a nominalist account of theories. What follows is a brief review of the main nominalistic positions of this sort, and of some of the problems they face. For example, Fluffy and Kitzler are both cats, or, the fact that certain properties are repeatable, such as: According to this principle one should not multiply entities or kinds of entities unnecessarily.

This strategy is exemplified by Quine. Thus the property of scarlet things is the class of things that are scarlet in any possible world.

Nominalism

Another strategy is to accept that such entities exist but to deny that they are universals. I do not mean to suggest that these problems are not solvable, nor do I mean to suggest that they are.

But the theory faces a difficulty with so-called extensive properties like mass and shape. Back to Top Nominalism is the doctrine that abstract concepts, general terms or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names.

Thus that a and b resemble each other does not require that there are three entities there: Thus on one version of the theory a property like being scarlet is a certain class whose members satisfy certain definite resemblance conditions. There have been other proposals as to how to characterise abstract objects.Philosophy: Metaphysics > Nominalism.

Nominalism is the doctrine that abstract concepts, general terms or universals have no independent existence but exist only as agronumericus.comore, various objects labeled by the same term have nothing in common but their name. Put another way, only actual physical particulars are real, and universals exist only subsequent to particular things, being just.

Nominalism comes in at least two varieties. In one of them it is the rejection of abstract objects; in the other it is the rejection of universals. Philosophers have often found it necessary to postulate either abstract objects or universals.

And so Nominalism in one form or another has played a. Metaphysics shares a breadth of problems concerning ‘universals’. One view that addresses these problems is nominalism.

William of Ockham

Nominalism is the position that universals do not exist outside the mind. Nominalism about Properties: New Essays (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) - Kindle edition by Ghislain Guigon, Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.

Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Nominalism about Properties: New Essays (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics).Manufacturer: Routledge. Philosophy: Metaphysics > Nominalism. Nominalism is the doctrine that abstract concepts, general terms or universals have no independent existence but exist only as agronumericus.comore, various objects labeled by the same term have nothing in common but their name.

Put another way, only actual physical particulars are real, and universals. In metaphysics, nominalism is a philosophical view which denies the existence of universals and abstract objects, but affirms the existence of general or abstract terms and predicates.

Metaphysics

There are at least two main versions of nominalism.

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Metaphysics and nominalism
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