Nominalism, which has its origins in the Middle Ages and continues into the Twenty-First Century, is the doctrine that there are no universals. This book is unique in bringing together essays on the history of nominalism and essays that present a systematic discussion of nominalism. It introduces the reader to the distinction between particulars and universals, to the difficulties posed by this distinction, and to the main motivations for the rejection of universals. It also describes the main varieties of nominalism about properties and provides tools to understand how they developed in the history of Western Philosophy. All essays are new and are written by experts on the topic, and they advance the discussion about nominalism to a new level.
"These papers make important contributions to the historical understanding of the development of nominalism and to evaluating the prospects of nominalist theories of properties in contemporary debates." - Bryan Pickel, University of Edinburgh
1. Introduction Ghislain Guigon and Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra Part I: The Historical Development of the Problem of Universals and Nominalism 2. Aristotle’s Definitions of Universals and Individuals in de Interpretatione 7 Paolo Crivelli 3. Abelard’s Theory of Universals John Marenbon 4. Ockham’s Ontology Claude Panaccio 5. Hume on Spatial Properties Jani Hakkarainen Part II: Systematic Discussion 6. Six Similarity Theories of Properties A. C. Paseau 7. The Trope Coextension Problem Douglas Ehring 8. Coextension and Identity Ghislain Guigon 9. A Trope Nominalist Theory of Natural Kinds Markku Keinänen 10. Nominalism, Naturalism and Natural Properties Joseph Melia 11. Avoiding ad hoc Ontology Nicholas Mantegani