Platonism and the invention of the problem of universals

In this paper, I explore the origins of the ‘problem of universals’. I argue that the problem has come to be badly formulated and that consideration of it has been impeded by falsely supposing that Platonic Forms were ever intended as an alternative to Aristotelian universals. In fact, the role that Forms are supposed by Plato to fulfill is independent of the function of a universal. I briefly consider the gradual mutation of the problem in the Academy, in Alexander of Aphrodisias, and among some of the major Neoplatonic commentators on Aristotle, including Porphyry and Boethius.
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DOI 10.1515/agph.2004.86.3.233
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