Chapter

Universals

P. F. Strawson

in Entity and Identity

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250159
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598470 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250150.003.0003
 Universals

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The existence of universals (general properties or kinds) is disputed because of fears of myth‐making, and argued against on the grounds that they are dispensable as objects of reference and that they lack general principles of identity. Ripostes: they are unavoidable as objects of thought, and each, as essence, is its own individual principle of identity. The fundamental ground of the continuing dispute is the strong human disposition to believe that to exist at all is to exist as an object in time in the natural world; whereas universals are abstract objects of thought, exemplified in the natural world and related inter se by conceptual necessities.

Keywords: identity; naturalism; necessities; Plato; reductive; reference

Chapter.  4406 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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