David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophy 60 (1):5-32 (1993)
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 if the argument is successful, it serves as a defense of full ante rem realism (the doctrine that universals exist independently of the existence of instances). The argument emphasizes the need for a unified treatment of intensional statements -- modal statements as well as statements of assertion and belief. The larger philosophical moral will be that ante rem universals are uniquely suited to carry a certain kind of modal information. Linguistic entities, mind-dependent universals, and instance-dependent universals are incapable of serving that function.
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Citations of this work BETA
Thomas M. Crisp (2007). Presentism and the Grounding Objection. Noûs 41 (1):90–109.
Chad Carmichael (2010). Universals. Philosophical Studies 150 (3):373-89.
Sean Crawford (2014). Propositional or Non-Propositional Attitudes? Philosophical Studies 168 (1):179-210.
John Bengson, Enrico Grube & Daniel Z. Korman (2011). A New Framework for Conceptualism. Noûs 45 (1):167 - 189.
Tobias Rosefeldt (2008). 'That'-Clauses and Non-Nominal Quantification. Philosophical Studies 137 (3):301 - 333.
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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?