”Mirage realism” or ”positivism in naturalism's clothing”?

Panu Raatikainen
Tampere University
In 1980 a very interesting exchange of views between three distinguished philosophers took place. Two years earlier Armstrong had, in his already classical two-volume book on universals (Armstrong 1978a, 1978b), mentioned, in passing, Quinean positions as ”Ostrich or Cloak-anddagger Nominalism”, by which he referred to philosophers who refuse to countenance universals but who at the same time see no need for any reductive analysis. In the symposium in question (’Symposium: Nominalism’, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1980)), Michael Devitt defended vigorously the Quinean position and attacked Armstrong’s view (Devitt 1980); Armstrong naturally replied (Armstrong 1980), and Quine himself joined in with a short note (Quine 1980a). But interesting as these contributions are, the opinions have not exactly converged
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