Universals (Central Problems of Philosophy)

by J.P. Moreland

Universals begins with a taxonomy of extreme nominalist, moderate nominalist, and realist positions on properties, outlining the way each handles the phenomena of predication, resemblance, and abstract reference. The debate about properties and philosophical naturalism is also examined. Different forms of extreme nominalism and minimalist realism are critiqued. Later chapters defend a traditional realist view of universals and examine the objections to realism from various infinite regresses, the difficulties in stating identity conditions for properties, and problems with realist accounts of knowledge of abstract objects. The debate between Platonists and Aristotelians is examined in the context of the relationship between properties and an adequate theory of existence. The book's final chapter explores the problem of individuating particulars. Universals makes a difficult topic accessible while maintaining the sophistication of argument required by a more advanced readership, providing an authoritative treatment of the subject for both students and scholars.

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