Towards a Realistic Ontology
The argument of the previous chapter is disarmingly straightforward. I began the argument with the reflection that expressions like ‘wisdom’, ‘triangularity’ and ‘redness’ occur in true sentences. As they occur in such sentences, I argued, they appear to be functioning as singular terms referring to universals. Then, I examined the various accounts of abstract reference provided by the nominalist and extreme nominalist. Finding none of those accounts satisfactory, I concluded that it is plausible to assume that abstract singular terms play just the roles they appear to be playing. But if they are playing those roles, then the truth of the sentences into which they enter presupposes the existence of the objects they take as their referents. Since it is obvious that abstract singular terms enter into many true sentences, I concluded that it is plausible to assume that universals exist.
KeywordsUniver Alan Harman
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