Alexander of Aphrodisias on universals: two problematic texts

Phronesis 50 (1):43 - 55 (2005)
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Abstract

Two texts that raise problems for Alexander of Aphrodisias' theory of universals are examined. "De anima" 90.2-8 appears to suggest that universals are dependent on thought for their existence; this raises questions about the status both of universals and of forms. It is suggested that the passage is best interpreted as indicating that universals are dependent on thought only for their being recognised as universals. The last sentence of "Quaestio" 1.11 seems to assert that if the universal did not exist no individual would exist, thereby contradicting Alexander's position elsewhere. This seems to be a slip resulting from the fact that species with only one member are the exception rather than the rule

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References found in this work

Epiphenomenalisms, ancient and modern.Victor Caston - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (3):309-363.
Accidental unities.Gareth B. Matthews - 1982 - In M. Schofield & M. C. Nussbaum (eds.), Language and Logos. Cambridge University Press. pp. 223--240.
Epiphenomenalisms, Ancient and Modern.Victor Caston - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (3):309-363.
A New Fragment of Xenocrates and Its Implications.Muhsin Mahdi & Shlomo Pines - 1962 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 82 (3):391.
Forms, types, and tokens in Aristotle's.Deborah K. W. Modrak - 1979 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 17 (4):371-381.

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