Resemblance and general terms

Philosophical Studies 54 (1):87 - 108 (1988)
Abstract
Any successful account of general terms must explain our ability to apply terms correctly to new instances. Many philosophers have thought resemblance offers an ontologically sparse basis for such an account. However, Any natural and plausible account of general terms on the basis of resemblance requires quite a rich ontology, Including at least second order properties and relations. Given a sufficiently rich structure of resemblances, We can surely account for the application of many general terms. I argue, However, That our ability to recognize shapes and to apply terms for shapes cannot be explained on the basis of resemblance
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