What Is the Problem of Universals About?

Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (1):71-89 (2022)
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Abstract

The Problem of Universals is one of the oldest problems of metaphysics. And still, there is no agreement, neither about its nor about its. What is the most adequate formulation of the problem? And what kind of explanation does it require? My aim in this paper is to offer an overview of these two basic questions in the contemporary debate. I will present the four most important formulations (section 1), discuss their connections (section 2) and how the three most prominent are related to these formulations (section 3). We will see that, despite the long history of the problem, in recent years new formulations and approaches have been proposed which may open up original perspectives on its solution.

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