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By Herbert Hochberg, Kevin Mulligan

Curiosity within the age-old difficulties of universals and individuation has got a brand new impetus from the present revival of ontology within the analytic culture, the advance of theories of person houses (and the similar software of mereological calculi to the research of predication), and the actual difficulties posed via relational predication and the character of details. The essays discover elements of the historical past of the problems and try and take care of the problems and with demanding situations to the differences that supply upward push to them. They proceed the debates stemming from the revival of metaphysics rooted in Frege's realism, the Austrian culture of Brentano-Husserl-Meinong, and the early twentieth century riot opposed to idealism embodied in writings of Moore and Russell and culminating in Wittgenstein's Tractatus.

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What he assumes, to take a specific and relevant case in Simons’ terms, is the following. ” Now, given that, as assumed, the 30 atomic facts Fa and Fb are the truth grounds for the atomic sentences “Fa” and “Fb,” the somewhat complex conditional sentence is true if and only if it is false that Fa and Fb make “(x)Fx” true. And that, of course, is what is at issue. Russell’s view is that they do not make it true, since the generalization does not validly follow from the set of premises {“Fa”, “Fb”}.

The B question is—What makes it true that two objects, a and b, are the same F? That way of putting matters is a bit awkward—for it makes matters clearer if one asks what makes them the same in a respect or what makes them both Fs. In any case, she tells us the classic problem of universals is not the problem of universalization. Of course it isn’t—especially if you don’t believe in tropes, or even if you do, as Plato apparently did, it was not the problem of how to construct Forms out of tropes—but of accounting for certain tropes being of a common kind—or as she puts it: How can distinct particulars all have what appears to be the same nature?

If one just looks at the history, perhaps from a different perspective than Maurin’s, one finds her attempt—which follows a common strategy in philosophical disputes—to show that the realist isn’t clear about the difference between different questions—is misguided. For the moment, consider Plato’s Phaedo where, by a kind of consensus, one takes a fairly clear Platonic theory of Forms to first be set out. There, you already have the distinction, not only of the two questions, but of the difference between a trope (quality instance), an object (something that has a quality) and a universal form (the quality itself).

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