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Nominalism

qv, existence, objects and view

NOMINALISM (from nominal, from Lat. moninafia, relating to names, from »omen, name; 1.1/11111.111.11 with Gk. ovoga, comma, Ski, tuilnun, ln:Iturell Slay. hue, 01r. a in in, Guth. no in 011G. natno, (tee. _Name, S. nanta, Eng. name). The philosophival theory that only individual objects have real existence, and that so-called universals (see JrnnmExr) are nothing but 11111111's given in coninum to actually different and incommunicable objects. 'I'lIi-se names were considered as nothing hut so much breath (flatus roeis), without in dicating any real identity in the objects sharing in identical names. This view was an extreme development of the Aristotelian doctrine that all reality is individual, and that universals have existence only in individual objects: and it was called forth by the extreme Neu-Platonism of Erigena, who maintained that universals have an existence prior to particulars and individuals, and that the process of creation is only the logical differentiation of the uni versal. This Neo.Platonie view of the relation of the universal and the particular is (-ailed reafisni, and was advocated IT lIernard of Chart n.s, Guillaume de Champeaux (q.v.), and Walter of Mortagne. Nominalism. on the con trary, was nmintained by Roseelinus (q.v.). Abi. lard represented a modified nominalism in main taining that the universal is ma a real objective existence, lair. on the contrary, a mere word I rox). but the meaning of the word. This view,

which is called sermonism ( from si rum. which in scholastic Latin meant 'predicate'), is a type of conceptualism (q.v.) peculiar to Abillard, and is to In• distinguished from other forms of con ceptualistic doctrine in that it did not point to the fact that meanings 111'e mental fails. With Aboard meanings seemed to reside in words, not as words, hut as predicates of prop osit ions. The Arabian philosopher:, and especially Avicenna (q.v.), succeeded in mediating between nominalism and realism by maintaining that universa ls a re before individuals ( realism t in the mind of 11(141. iu individuals (Aristotelianism) as I heir dryr1uuped essence, 11141 after ivill 11,1 Is (nominalism) in human minds (conceptualism). This was the View adopted Ity Thomas Aquinas (q.v.) in his Sy:41'111 111111 so incorporated in the received philosophy of the Roman Church. Nomi nalism received its last strong support in the teaching of William of 0ecani (q.v.) in the four teenth century; but the of this revival was transitory, mining as it did upon the eve of the Ifenaissanee and the general decline of interest in scholastic. problems, See Uilve, Orr Kampf zwischen \ontinalistlium and Vealismus ion liltlrlra]te•r: sr in Ursprung and min Veda uf I Prague. 1870) : also the histories of philosophy by 1....eberweg-Ileinze, Windelband, Erdmann.