Abailard on collective realism

Journal of Philosophy 75 (10):527-538 (1978)
In the Logica Ingredientibus Abailard attacks the theory according to which universals are collections of individuals. This paper argues that Abailard's principal objection to this 'collective realism', viz, that it conflates universals with integral wholes, is actually quite strong, though it is generally overlooked by recent commentators. For implicit in this objection is the claim that the collective realist cannot provide a satisfactory account of predication. The reason for this is that integral wholes are not uniquely decomposable. In support of thesis the author first explicates the medieval distinction between integral and subjective parts and then discusses its application to collective realism.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0022-362X
DOI 10.2307/2025841
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