Indiscernible Universals

Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 16:89-110 (2020)
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Abstract

Universals have traditionally thought to obey the identity of indiscernibles, that is, it has traditionally been thought that there can be no perfectly similar universals. But at least in the conception of universals as immanent, there is nothing that rules out there being indiscernible universals. In this paper, I shall argue that there is useful work indiscernible universals can do, and so there might be reason to postulate indiscernible universals. In particular, I shall argue that postulating indiscernible universals can allow a theory of universals to identify particulars with bundles of universals, and that postulating indiscernible universals can allow a theory of universals to develop an account of the resemblance of quantitative universals that avoids the objections that Armstrong’s account faces. Finally, I shall respond to some objections and I shall undermine the criterion of distinction between particulars and universals that says that the distinction between particulars and universals lies in that while there can be indiscernible particulars, there cannot be indiscernible universals.

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