Contra Res Sempiternas

The Monist 67 (3):376-394 (1984)

Abstract

Whether it is preferable to live in X and work in Y or to work in X and live in Y is surely a relative question—relative to a number of practical circumstances and dependent on the person who has to make the choice. But this does not make the situation an illustration of relativism. Similarly, for my neighbour to suspect that abstract terms such as ‘Nation’, ‘Love’ and ‘Freedom’ are only words reveals at best a penchant to nominalism in his thinking, but, once again, this does not qualify my neighbour’s views as nominalism. Something more is required for an assertion, a viewpoint or a theory to qualify as or to be translated into a context called ‘nominalist’ or ‘relativist’. When nominalists throughout the ages denied that abstract terms had an intrinsic value in the explanation of things, they had to give an alternative account of the things to be explained, which did not turn, in any decisive manner, on the distinction between abstract and concrete terms. So it was not enough for a nominalist to reject, say, Rousseau’s distinction between La volonté générate and Les volontés particulières and it was not enough for Nietzsche to deride the bandying about of terms like ‘Truth’, ‘Love’, ‘Nation’, etc. In such cases the nominalist is called upon to replace the explanation which builds on abstract entities by one which is based on individuals.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,856

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-02-21

Downloads
44 (#261,629)

6 months
1 (#386,040)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

Nominalismus und Gesellschaft.Friedel Weinert - 1986 - Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 17 (2):322-345.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Contra-Classical Logics.Lloyd Humberstone - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (4):438 – 474.
Analytic Functionalism and the Reduction of Phenomenal States.Janet Levin - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 61 (March):211-38.