A Reconsideration of the problem of universals

Eyim, Ahmet
This study aims at investigating the problem of universals, which is one of the most venerable issues in the history of philosophy. The problem of universals emerges from the ontological status of properties and relations; i.e., the existence and nature of properties and relations. It can be defined as the problem of how two or more different objects can have the same property or how a property can be a part of different things. The problem of universals consists of not a single problem but rather a network of problems. The aim of this study is to reconsider the problem of universals which involves the three interrelated problems: ontological problem of predication, the linguistic problem of predication and the problem of abstract reference. Any adequate account for the problem of universals must deal with these problems. Nominalism, Trope theory, and Realism are three major theories that have proposed solutions to the problem of universals. In this study, these accounts have been discussed and it has been tried to reveal whether any of these accounts can deal with these problems. As a conclusion, this study proposes that among the theories that try to deal with the problem of ontological predication and the problem of abstract reference, only Object-Trope theory and Armstrong’s Realism have been successful. However, Object-Trope theory is found to be a bit more superior to Armstrong’s Realism when Ockham’s razor is appealed to.


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In this thesis the quiddity of knowledge in Kant's critical philosophy has been investigated within the historical context of the problem. In order to illustrate the origins of the subject-matter of the dissertation, the historical background of Kant's views on the theory of knowledge has been researched too. As a result of this research, it is concluded that Kant did not invent a new philosophical problem, but he tried to improve a decisive solution for one of the oldest question of history of philosophy i...
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An Inquiry into the nature of aesthetic theory in its relation to theory of knowledge in Kant’s critical philosophy
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Citation Formats
A. Eyim, “A Reconsideration of the problem of universals,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.