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Nominalism

(1,423 words)

Author(s): Knuuttila, Simo | Brown, Robert F.
1. Origin and Nature of Nominalism The original use of the term “nominalism” was in the context of disputes in medieval Scholasticism about the metaphysical status of universals and about the epistemological status of universal terms and their correlative concepts. Issues raised there are perennial ones that also played a part in philosophical debates both before and after the scholastic era, though they are not always defined exactly as they were by the nominalists and their opponents. Aristotle (384–322 b.c.) in his Categories discussed how we use names or terms to speak of …
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