Discussion:
  1. George Bealer (1993). Universals. Journal of Philosophy 60 (1):5-32.
    Presented here is an argument for the existence of universals. Like Church's translation-test argument, the argument turns on considerations from intensional logic. But whereas Church's argument turns on the fine-grained informational content of intensional sentences, this argument turns on the distinctive logical features of 'that'-clauses embedded within modal contexts. And unlike Church's argument, this argument applies against truth-conditions nominalism and also against conceptualism and in re realism (the doctrine that universals are ontologically dependent upon the existence of instances). So (...)
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2010-02-11
a good deductive argument?
Hi, I'm writing an essay on whether George Bealer gives a good deductive argument for the existence of universals in this paper. I was wondering if any one has any thoughts on this?
Thanks

2010-02-26
a good deductive argument?
Reply to Thomas Kemp
I have always been slightly perplexed by the problem of universals and particulars.  However, I can't personally grasp how universals can be mind-dependent, i.e. independent of those who think them, and totally ontologically separate from the instances that they refer to.  If we take the word "cat", that word has a specific meaning that is assigned to the word by a language user, whether that particular entity exists or not, i.e has four legs, has ability to climb trees, purrs, etc.  There can also be concepts formed solely by the imagination, unicorns have no particular instances, but they definitely do have a meaning, but that meaning is given by the language user, or in this case the creator of the mythological beast, by imagining a horn on top of a horses head.  Plato, believes in the existence of universals, in the respect that they are ontologically independent of the existence of any user of language and the user of language taps into this ideal world of universals.  However, does it not require a language user, to create the universals in the first place?

2011-03-07
a good deductive argument?
Reply to Thomas Kemp
Hello,

I think that Bealer's third premise allows him to smuggle in a questionable assumption about the nature of propositions, namely, that there can be propositions that are not thought of by anyone (barring the existence of an infinite mind that entertains all propositions).  This assumption is at work in the assertion of (13).  While (13) may look innocent--in fact, there is an analogous formula with parentheses replacing square brackets that seems true--it assumes that for any x and y, there is a proposition [x=y], regardless if anyone thinks it or not.  With (13) he goes on to derive his (14a) and, with that, his ante rem realism. 

Those who adopt a"constructivist" attitude towards propositions, namely, that the unity of a proposition is imposed by thought, do not share Bealer's liberalism. 

Tomis Kapitan