Realism - Conceptualism - Nominalism.

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Dante, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Dante
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    If you had to pick one that best fits your beliefs which would it be?

    Me? I think it would be Conceptualism.
     
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    The problem of universals is an ancient problem in metaphysics about whether universals exist.

    Universals are general or abstract qualities, characteristics, properties, kinds or relations, such as being male/female, solid/liquid/gas or a certain colour, that can be predicated of individuals or particulars or that individuals or particulars can be regarded as sharing or participating in. For example, Meena, John and Poppy all have the quality of being human or humanity is the universal they have in common.

    While many standard cases of universals are also typically regarded as abstract objects (such as humanity), abstract objects are not necessarily universals. For example, in an article on nominalism by Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra, numbers can be held to be particular yet abstract objects.

    The problem of universals is about their status; as to whether universals exist independently of the individuals of whom they can be predicated or if they are merely convenient ways of talking about and finding similarity among particular things that are radically different.

    This has led philosophers to raise questions like, if they exist, do they exist in the individuals or only in people's minds or in some separate metaphysical domain?

    Questions like these arise from attempts to account for the phenomenon of similarity or attribute agreement among things. For example, living grass and some apples are similar, namely in having the attribute of greenness. The issue, however, is how to account for this and related facts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
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    from Wikipedia: There are two main positions on the issue: realism and nominalism (sometimes simply called "anti-realism" in regards to universals).

    Conceptualism is a doctrine in philosophy intermediate between nominalism and realism that says universals exist only within the mind and have no external or substantial reality.
     
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    Conceptualism in scholasticism

    In late and "second" scholasticism, the doctrines that would now be classified as conceptualist were called either moderate nominalism or seminominalism. By means of the late scholastic terminology, conceptualism can be defined as belief in universal formal concepts (resulting by means of formal precision) and rejection of objective concepts (resulting, supposedly, by means of objective precision. In other words, moderate realism and conceptualism both agree in admitting universal mental acts (formal concepts), but differ in that moderate realism claims that to such acts correspond universal intentional objects, whereas conceptualism denies any such universal objects.

    In the medieval thought, the first conceptualist was probably Pierre Abélard, but some thinkers classify him as a moderate realist. The bulk of late medieval thinkers usually called "nominalists" were in fact conceptualists: William Ockham, Jean Buridan, etc. In the 17th century conceptualism gained favour for some decades especially among the Jesuits: Hurtado de Mendoza, Rodrigo de Arriaga and Francisco Oviedo are the main figures. Although the order soon returned to the more realist philosophy of Francisco Suárez, the ideas of these Jesuits had a great impact on the contemporary early modern thinkers.

    [edit] Modern conceptualism


    Conceptualism was either explicitly or implicitly embraced by most of the early modern thinkers like Descartes, John Locke or Leibniz - often in a quite simplified form if compared with the elaborate Scholastic theories. Sometimes the term is applied even to the radically different philosophy of Kant, who holds that universals have no connection with external things because they are exclusively produced by our a priori mental structures and functions.[citation needed] However, this application of the term "conceptualism" is not very usual, since the problem of universals can, strictly speaking, be meaningfully raised only within the framework of the traditional, pre-Kantian epistemology.

    Conceptualism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    ----

    The terms "a priori" and "a posteriori" are used in philosophy (epistemology) to distinguish two types of knowledge, justifications or arguments. A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience (for example 'All bachelors are unmarried'); a posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or empirical evidence (for example 'Some bachelors are very happy'). A priori justification makes no reference to experience; the issue concerns how one knows the proposition or claim in question—what justifies or grounds one's belief in it. Galen Strawson wrote that an a priori argument is one of which "you can see that it is true just lying on your couch. You don't have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world. You don't have to do any science."[1]


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_priori_and_a_posteriori_(philosophy)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
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    How do Moderate realism:

    Moderate realism as a position in the debate on the metaphysics of universals holds that there is no realm in which universals exist (against platonism, nor do they really exist within the individuals as universals, but rather universals really exist within the particulars as individualised, and multiplied. They exist as universals only as objects of our intellect, due to abstraction.

    It is opposed to both full-blooded realism, such as the theory of Platonic forms, and nominalism. Nominalists deny the existence of universals altogether, even as individualised and multiplied within the individuals.

    Aristotle espoused a form of moderate realism.



    ...and Conceptualism differ?
     
  6. Diuretic
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    Okay I'll put my hand up and hop in early, I haven't fully digested all your posts, I'll go back and do so but I'm rushing a bit (getting ready for work). Is this where Plato's forms come in? I never did fully understand any of it.

    But that last claim of mine is probably going to be self-evident.

    Edit - you mentioned forms, sorry, must read carefully or be mocked.
     
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    I'll go with Aristotle. Always a safe bet. :lol:
     
  8. Dante
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    Understanding is not always required. Just listen to any grad student or Prof. of philosophy prattle on about this shit and then ask them to explain it in plain English that a child could comprehend. :lol: very few can and why is that so important to me? because any nitwit worth spit can parrot what they read or hear.

    Plato and Ari did have something to say about this shit. I am always curious where I stand on this stuff. From time to time I rethink what it is I believe about reality, existence, the universe....life.

    Keeping an open mind to all variations, of most of the theories out there, has been fun. It appears with more and more knowledge and experience living I have yet to change what I believe. If I ever do it will most likely be because of some scientific fact that reshapes how I attempt to understand the universe around me.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
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    Excellent! The Big Test - I like it, "break it down for me in terms I can understand". That tests a wanker. A good teacher will do exactly that, make it understandable, a poor teacher will retreate into exclusive language and eventually tell you you're too stupid to understand.

    I like to think about these things as well, in my own non-technical way. I remember having forms explained to me and - best I can remember of it - the argument was that the chair we were looking at was only a pale imitation of real chair, a chair that had pure chair essence, which was somewhere else (probably in a hidden dimension). I remember thinking, it's a chair, what's this about? I think I failed the test :lol:

    But the more I think about these abstract questions, ironically, the more I get towards a form of nihilism. And that's a bit of a worry :eek:
     

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