Philosophy of Science 49 (4):591-603 (1982)
This paper examines the view that ordinary particulars are complexes of universals. Russell's attempt to develop such a theory is articulated and defended against some common misinterpretations and unfounded criticisms in Section I. The next two sections address an argument which is standardly cited as the primary problem confronting the theory: (1) it is committed to the necessary truth of the principle of the identity of indiscernibles; (2) the principle is not necessarily true. It is argued in Section II that a proponent of the theory need not accept (1) and an argument against (2) is presented in Section III. The final section attempts to show that Russell's theory ultimately fails because of inadequacies in its treatment of space and time. The paper closes with a suggestion for remedying this difficulty
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