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18. Nominalism.docx

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

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18. Nominalism (November 10, 2011) 1. Some regrettable language: two directly contrary opposite meanings of "realism" 1 2 Universal are real things Idealism Realism Concrete particulars are the Realism Nominalism real things 2. Nominalism: the really real things are concrete particulars (this horse, that table, that mountain….)  The idea that universal (dog, horse, tree) are not real existent thing, but just words  The real things are the concrete particulars, the individuals (this horse, that tree) that patch  Nominalism challenges the idea that ideas, forms exist…  The idea that universal are real public objects 3. Hume's two propositions:  David hume i) “The mind cannot form any notion of quantity or quality without forming a precise notion of the degrees of each”  Three arguments for this proposition a) any idea of a line is an idea of a line of a determinate length o you just think of a line o can’t have a mental image of a line b) Any sense impression contains determinate quantity and quality c) Everything in nature is individual  there is no idea of triangle that is indeterminate among these 3 types  any triangle you think of has got to be of one of these types  yet the universal triangle has to be indeterminate ii) “[the] application of ideas beyond their nature proceeds from our collecting all their possible degrees of quantity
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