<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Lewis (David) - New Work for a Theory of Universals (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_01/PaperSummary_1100.htm">New Work for a Theory of Universals</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/L/Author_Lewis (David).htm">Lewis (David)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Lewis - Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=800><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_01/PaperSummary_1100.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_01/PaperCitings_1100.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_01/PapersToNotes_1100.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Introduction</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>D. M. Armstrong offers a theory of <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>1</SUP> as the only adequate answer to a 'compulsory question' for systematic philosophy: the problem of One over <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P1100_2">Many</A></U><SUB>2</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P1100_2"></A>. I find this line of argument unpersuasive. But I think there is more to be said for Armstrong's theory than he himself has said. For as I bear it in mind considering various topics in philosophy, I notice time and again that it offers solutions to my problems. Whatever we may think of the problem of One over Many, <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>3</SUP> can earn their living doing other much-needed work. </li><li>I do not say that they are indispensable. The services they render could be matched using resources that are Nominalistic in letter, if perhaps not in <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P1100_4">spirit</A></U><SUB>4</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P1100_4"></A>. But neither do I hold any presumption against <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>5</SUP>, to the effect that they are to be accepted only if we have no alternative. I therefore suspend judgement about <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>6</SUP> themselves. I only insist that, one way or another, their work must be done. </li><li>I shall investigate the benefits of adding <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>7</SUP> to my own usual ontology. That ontology, though Nominalistic, is in other respects generous. It consists of possibilia  particular, individual things, some of which comprise our actual world and others of which are <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P1100_8">unactualised</A></U><SUB>8</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P1100_8"></A>  together with the iterative hierarchy of classes built up from them. Thus I already have at my disposal a theory of properties as classes of possibilia. Properties, so understood, are not much like <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>9</SUP>. Nor can they, unaided, take over the work of <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>10</SUP>. Nevertheless they will figure importantly in what follows, since for me they are part of the environment in which <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>11</SUP> might operate. </li><li>The friend of <a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>12</SUP> may wonder whether they would be better employed not as an addition to my ontology of possibilia and classes, but rather as a replacement for parts of it. A fair question, and an urgent one; nevertheless, not a question considered in this paper. </li><li>In the next section, I shall sketch Armstrong's theory of <a name="10"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>13</SUP>, contrasting <a name="11"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>14</SUP> with properties understood as classes of possibilia. </li><li>Then I shall say why I am unconvinced by the One over Many argument. </li><li>Then I shall turn to my principal topic: how <a name="12"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</A><SUP>15</SUP> could help me in connection with such topics as <ul type="disc"><li>duplication, <a name="13"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_12/Notes_1263.htm">supervenience</A><SUP>16</SUP>, and divergent worlds; </li><li>a minimal form of materialism; </li><li>laws and <a name="14"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_39.htm">causation</A><SUP>17</SUP>; and </li><li>the content of language and thought. </li></ul>Perhaps the list could be extended. </li></ol></FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><ul type="disc"><li>First published in The Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (1983), pp. 343 377. </li><li>Also in <a name="20"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_533.htm">Mellor (D.H.) & Oliver (Alex), Eds. - Properties: Oxford Readings in Philosophy</A>" </li><li>And in <a name="21"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_423.htm">Laurence (Stephen) & Macdonald (Cynthia), Eds. - Contemporary Readings in the Foundations of Metaphysics</A>". </li><li>Photocopy filed in <a name="22"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_05/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_5969.htm">Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 09 (L)</A>". </li><li>For Notes, see <a name="17"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_20/Abstract_20407.htm">Funkhouser (Eric) - Notes on Lewis,  New Work for a Theory of Universals </A>". </li></ul><BR><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U></B><a name="On-Page_Link_P1100_2"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P1100_2"><B>Footnote 2</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>See <a name="23"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_275.htm">Armstrong (David) - Universals and Scientific Realism (Vol. 1: Nominalism and Realism)</A>" </li><li>& <a name="24"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_276.htm">Armstrong (David) - Universals and Scientific Realism (Vol. 2: A Theory of Universals)</A>" (1978); </li><li>See also <a name="18"></a>"<A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_01/PaperSummary_1094.htm">Armstrong (David) - Against 'Ostrich Nominalism': A Reply to Michael Devitt</A>" (1980) pp. 440-449. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P1100_4"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P1100_4"><B>Footnote 4</B></A></U>: <FONT COLOR = "800080">In this paper, I follow Armstrong's traditional terminology: <ul type="disc"><li>'<a name="15"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">Universals</a>' are repeatable entities, wholly present wherever a particular instantiates them; </li><li>'Nominalism' is the rejection of such entities. </li><li>In the conflicting modem terminology of Harvard, classes count as '<a name="16"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1008.htm">universals</a>' and 'Nominalism' is predominantly the rejection of classes. </li><li>Confusion of the terminologies can result in grave misunderstanding; see <a name="19"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_20/Abstract_20428.htm">Quine (W.V.) - Soft Impeachment Disowned</A>" (1980). </li></ul> </FONT><a name="On-Page_Link_P1100_8"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P1100_8"><B>Footnote 8</B></A></U>: <FONT COLOR = "800080"><ul type="disc"><li>Among 'things' I mean to include all the gerrymandered wholes and undemarcated parts admitted by the most permissive sort of mereology. </li><li>Further, I include such physical objects as spatiotemporal regions and force fields, unless an eliminative reduction of them should prove desirable. </li><li>Further, I include such nonphysical objects as gods and spooks, though not - I hope - as parts of the same world as us. </li><li>Worlds themselves need no special treatment. They are things  big ones, for the most part. </li></ul> </FONT> <FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T05:41" pubdate>02/08/2018 05:41:24</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>