La disputa nominalisti-universalisti
Calemi, Francesco F.
The inhabitants of the world are many yet somehow one: how is it possible? This conundrum gives rise to one of the most ancient but nevertheless topical debates in philosophy: the problem of universals. From Plato to Quine, via Aquinas, Galilei and Russell – just to name a few representative cases –, the problem of universals has had a great relevance for issues pertaining to epistemology, theology, science, mathematics and semantics. This paper is meant to be expository and it focuses on the core issue, i.e. how is it possible – if at all – for numerically different things to have an identical qualitative nature? In the following discussion, I will review the foremost solutions, viz. Universalism, Nominalism and Particularism, considering the pros and the cons of each.