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Topic: Problem of universals

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  The Medieval Problem of Universals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
But then, all universals in the understanding would have to be false representations of their things; therefore, no universal knowledge would be possible, whereas our considerations started out precisely from the existence of such knowledge, as seems to be clear, e.g., in the case of geometrical knowledge.
Nevertheless, placing universal ideas in the divine mind as the archetypes of creation, this conception can still do justice to the Platonic intuition that what accounts for the necessary, universal features of the ephemeral particulars of the visible world is the presence of some universal exemplars in the source of their being.
In fact, the famous problem of the plurality vs. unity of substantial forms may also be regarded as a dispute over whether the common natures signified by the substantial predicates on the Porphyrian tree in the category of substance are distinct or the same in the same individual.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/universals-medieval   (14734 words)

  Aristotle's theory of universals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aristotle thought—to put it in a not-very-enlightening way—that universals are simply types, properties, or relations that are common to their various instances.
To further flesh out Aristotle's theory of universals, it is useful to consider how the theory might satisfy the constraints on theories of universals listed in the problem of universals article.
Universals must be awfully strange entities if exactly the same universal can exist in many places and times at once, or so one might think.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Aristotle's_theory_of_universals   (660 words)

In their investigation of tho problem of universals, medieval dialecticians agreed in recognizing the fact of universals, such as the genus "animality" and the species "humanity," but disagreed on the meaning of the fact, which they expressed in different themes.
Universal concepts are formed by abstraction or the attention of the mind upon one aspect of a thing to the disregard of other features of the same thing, for example, thinking of man as substance apart from the other forms that exist together in him.
Universal names and concepts are ultimately grounded, not in things which have nothing intrinsic to them to account for their common likeness, but in the divine ideas.
www.crvp.org /book/Series01/I-9/chapter_ii.htm   (4428 words)

 [No title]
Universals are unsaturated entities for a fregean, however, and not individuals; and so the fregean, who retains the framework of standard second order logic takes a nominalized predicate to refer to an object correlated with the universal designated by that predicate.
It is held that the problem of universals is a genuine metaphysical problem and does not admit of being disposed of by conceptual analysis.
I argue that a solution to the problem of universals explains the facts the problem of universals is about by giving the truth makers (as opposed to the conceptual content and the ontological commitments) of the sentences stating those facts.
fas-philosophy.rutgers.edu /~sider/teaching/abstract_entities_bib.htm   (11757 words)

 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism
The problem of universals is the problem of the correspondence of our intellectual concepts to things existing outside our intellect.
This applicability of the abstract type to the individuals is its universality.
Whence it follows that the universality of the concept as such is the work purely of the intellect: "unde intellectus est qui facit universalitatem in rebus" (St. Thomas, "De ente et essentia," iv).
www.newadvent.org /cathen/11090c.htm   (2935 words)

Ockham should be called something like a "terminist," because he claims that universals are natural signs (acts of the understanding) while a true nominalist would say that a universal is only a name, a conventional sign.
Occam's theory begins with the assertion that the universals are tools which we use to think about the particulars, emphasizing that the true objects of thought are the individual particulars of sense perception.
The universal is merely a tool which is used for scientific reasoning, and cannot be considered a thing at all.
www.class.uidaho.edu /ngier/309/universals.htm   (1793 words)

 Wikinfo | Problem of universals
The problem of universals, then, is the problem of deciding what universals are, or are supposed to be, and whether universals exist.
Universals, it is said, are either properties, relations, or types, but not class.
The problem of substance has one trying to explain what objects, or substances, are in relation to universals (properties and relations); the problem of universals has one trying to explain what universals (properties and relations) are in relation to objects.
www.wikinfo.org /wiki.php?title=Problem_of_universals   (3275 words)

 Ockham on Universals
The problem of universals, whatever it is, arises already with words and concepts: we regard several instances of 'man' as the one word or concept, and ask how that one word or concept can be predicated of many things.
The problem is, then, (1) why can the numberless words and concepts be classed as tokens of a much smaller number of types, and (2) how the many men can be classed as individuals of the same species.
Universality is a relationship between particulars, such that some particulars resemble other particulars, and some particulars stand as signs for others.
www.humanities.mq.edu.au /Ockham/z3608.html   (4285 words)

 THE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSALS   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
Universal: is a kind of word, a way of naming individuals or particulars—properly defined as a PREDICATE, something said of something else in a proposition.
The individuals are the direct objects of our sense experience; the universals are the means by which these things are intellectually known, they are (or seem to be) the objects of our intellects or minds.
Universals are a common substance totally present in all individuals—one and the same essential nature is present in every member of a give species.
web.carroll.edu /msmillie/philomed/probuniversals.htm   (803 words)

 Meaning and the Problem of Universals
Equally serious is the problem of how we would know what all the members of a non-empty set are, without omniscience, in order to be able to use the name of the set in its "uniquely determined" way.
Universals exist precisely where possibilities exist: In the future, in one sense, in the imperfect aspect, in another.
The theory of universals also gives us the theory of meaning, since meaning consists of abstract properties, so that meaning is also an artifact of the forms of necessity, both the meaning of words and the meaning of things -- of life and the world.
www.friesian.com /universl.htm   (7354 words)

 History of Philosophy 28
Conceptualism concedes the universality of the idea, but denies that there is a universality of things corresponding to the universality of the mental representation.
Moreover, the universal has its ethical as well as its psychological aspect, and the denial of the universal means ultimately the destruction of moral ideas and the subversion of the stability of moral principles.
It is interesting to note that it was this problem that developed the Scholastic method, brought out the element of rationalism latent in Scholasticism, and led, as has been remarked, to the growth of Scholastic psychology and metaphysics.
www.nd.edu /Departments/Maritain/etext/hop28.htm   (876 words)

 [No title]
The problem of universals was first clearly recognized and dealt with by Plato.
The universal "humanity" exists because there are particular individuals who are "human-shaped." In this case, since humans are not made with human cookie-cutters, if at some point the human race is entirely wiped out, then the universal "human" would cease to exist.
But beyond Christian theology, the problem of universals is extremely important historically for the development of scientific methodology in particular, and epistemology in general.
www.philosophy.ccsu.edu /adams/Classes/Medieval/Universals.html   (4804 words)

 ecsowder.blogplot.com   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
The problem of universals, by no means a new one, struck medieval thinkers as fundamental, because in their judgment the enterprise of thought rested to a great extent upon its solution.
Those who say that universals do not exist are referred to as "nominalists." Hence it is incumbant upon Zach, or any nominalist for that matter, to provide an intelligible account of predication, attribute agreement, and relations which preserve a particularist ontology.
And having been forced to admit this universal, we find that it is no longer worth while to invent difficult and unplausible theories to avoid the admission of such universals as whiteness and triangularity.
ecsowder.blogplot.com /56   (10056 words)

 The problem of universals   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
Those who claim that universals are called nominalists, and they hold that individual objects are always unique, so universals can not exist as other things than names, A position between those is conceptualism, which states that universals are names of concepts of the human mind.
Universals are "outside" while we only have a vague idea of them derived from the shadows, which are individual objects of our reality.
Aristotle claims that universals exist as defined by certain qualities of the form and matter of the objects, and can be grouped into universals on basis of these.
web.telia.com /~u90104173/essay3.htm   (980 words)

 [No title]
Universals in the via antiqua In this framework, we have first of all the universal or common terms of spoken and written languages, which are common on account of being imposed upon universal concepts of the human mind.
In the first place, the sensory information collected by the single senses is distinguished, synthesized, and collated by the higher sensory faculties of the common sense [sensus communis] and the so-called cogitative power [vis cogitativa], to be stored in sensory memory as phantasms, the sensory representations of singulars in their singularity.
But these universals are neither common natures “contracted” to individuals by some really or merely formally distinct principle of individuation, nor some universal objects of the mind, which exist in a “diminished” manner, as beings of reason.
www.fordham.edu /gsas/phil/klima/medphil/Universals.doc   (7166 words)

 Universals [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Universals are a class of mind independent entities, usually contrasted with individuals, postulated to ground and explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals.
Whether universals are in fact required to explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals has engaged metaphysicians for two thousand years.
These considerations suggest that a universal is wholly present in each of its instances, and that the existence of a universal at one place is unrelated to its simultaneous existence at any other place.
www.iep.utm.edu /u/universa.htm   (6461 words)

 The vocabulary of ontology: Universals (History)
Gerson Lloyd P., "Platonism and the invention of the problem of universals," Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 86: 233-256 (2004).
The paper distinguishes two common medieval notions of a universal, the Aristotelian/Porphyrian one in terms of predication and the Boethian one in terms of being metaphysically common to many.
In this narrower sense Ockham, for example was not a nominalist since the signs he thought of as universal were primarily those of a mental language, although he was certainly a nominalist in the broader sense I first proposed.
www.formalontology.it /universals-history.htm   (1936 words)

 Problem of Universals Reconsidered
Universals in this document are examined in their original medieval context.
This thesis supplies an alternative solution to the problem of universals in which all three elements mentioned above are rendered into a unified philosophical system with axioms, methods, and goals.
The problem of universals is a fascinating paradox that was discovered and often discussed in the Europe's Middle Ages.
www.alkhemy.com /trr/ThesisAbs.html   (534 words)

 Philosophical Dictionary: Ubermensch-Utilitarianism
Although it is often difficult in practice to establish the truth of universal propositions, those that are accepted have extensive deductive consequences.
Universals are features (e.g., redness or tallness) shared by many individuals, each of which is said to instantiate or exemplify the universal.
Although it began with dispute over the status of Platonic Forms, the problem of universals became a central concern during the middle ages.
www.philosophypages.com /dy/u.htm   (844 words)

 Problem of universals - Definition, explanation
The problem of universals is a conventional term given to what is in fact a nest of intertwined problems, some within the domain of cognitive psychology, others within that of epistemology, still others within ontology.
This method of proceeding has since come to be called Ockham's razor, and it has had a career outside of the problem of universals.
John Stuart Mill discussed the problem of universals in the course of a book that eviscerated the philosophy of Sir William Hamilton.
www.calsky.com /lexikon/en/txt/p/pr/problem_of_universals.php   (2042 words)

 16. The Problem of Universals   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
The problem of universals is a tricky little logical problem that most medieval philosophers worried over.
It actually harks back to Plato's Ideas (Forms), which were universals, and back even further to the oldest philosophical issue, the problem of the One and the Many.
The universal mankind, or humanity, which is found in all us individuals, was corrupted by Adam.
people.uncw.edu /stanleym/bewitch/16.html   (488 words)

 Concepts and the Problem of Universals.
The answer to the "problem of universals" lies in Ayn Rand's discovery of the relationship between universals and mathematics.
Mathematics is the substance of thought writ large, as the West has been told from Pythagoras to Bertrand Russell; it does provide a unique window into human nature.
What the window reveals, however, is not the barren constructs of rationalistic tradition, but man's method of extrapolating from observed data to the total of the universe.
www.peikoff.com /opar/universals.htm   (435 words)

 One Hand Clapping
One of its contributors, University of Illinois history professor Paul W. Schroeder, deems it self-evident that the plan for an invasion "is being promoted in the interests of Israel.".
The problem is, the story of Jesus' life isn't simple, isn't neatly packaged, and is frankly not all that sanitary.
Almost always, though, the persons concerned keep their problem secret from pastors and church friends until so much damage has been done that reparative work is very difficult and often impossible.
www.donaldsensing.com /2004_02_01_archive.html   (12251 words)

 Why I'm not an objectivist
A universal is capable of being present in multiple instances, as whiteness is present in many different pieces of paper.
A universal can also be the subject of a judgement, and universals can possess properties of their own.
In particular, Ayn Rand can not possibly have a position on the problem of universals that is neither nominalist nor realist, unless it is that she either refuses to answer the questions or contradicts herself.
home.sprynet.com /~owl1/rand.htm   (18860 words)

 Universals 1   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
The problem of universals concerns, rather, how many kinds of things there are.
A predicate applies to more than one thing if it expresses a universal, and the things are all instances of the universal.
the relation of resemblance itself seems to be a universal of relation.
www.trinity.edu /cbrown/metaphysics/universals1.html   (292 words)

 Five Texts on the Mediaeval Problem of Universals New, Used Books, Cheap Prices, ISBN 087220250X
Five Texts on the Mediaeval Problem of Universals: Porphyry, Boethius, Abelard, Duns Scotus, Ockham
Problem of Universals in Indian Philosophy (By R. Dravid)
The Day Christ Was Born : The True Account of the First 24 H...
www.bookfinder4u.com /detail/087220250X.html   (256 words)

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