Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(1,242 words)

The nature of the problems usually raised under the heading of “Nominalism” and also their impact on the history of thought can be best described by examining their historical origins and suggesting a possible response to them at the present day.

1. The word “Nominalism” indicates the controversy which arose in the 11th and 12th centuries apropos of the ontological or metaphysical value of the general concept, the “universal”. It was a revival of the debate which had been left open by Porphyrius (d. 304) in his introduction to Aristotl…

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Heinz Robert Schiette, “Nominalism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 02 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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