Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology
9. Problems of the Universals
An argument about universals can undoubtedly be considered the most important landmark in the entire history of western culture (Schmidinger, 2010).
It followed an entirely new relationship of humans to reality. At first, the argument was of an metaphysical-gnoseological character: can it be found in the reality universale, which means generally? The universals, e.g. “rose as such,” “dog as such,” and the like. A problem was if: “…anything corresponds to the thing which we assign the conceptual (conceptus), or more precisely, general (universale), which means whether is there anything in the reality itself, anything real and existing, an opposite to the conceptual one and general one in our approach” (Schmidinger, 2010).
While dealing with this argument, two main attitudes were crystallised: ← 67 | 68 →
1. Realism (Platonists, Aristotelians, Thomists) which says that universals really exist, or better to say, something in the being itself corresponds to them. They identified the general with essence, or rather, with form (see e.g.: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/universals-medieval/).
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