Moderate Nominalism and Moderate Realism

Sammanfattning: The subject matter of this thesis is analytic ontology. Chapters II and III deal with two versions of trope theory, or moderate nominalism; these are defined as ontologies which recognise properties and relations but no (real) universals. The key notion of both theories, trope, is characterised as an abstract particular. What the abstractness amounts to differs between the two. Yet another difference is that simplicity is an essential trait of a trope according to one theory, but not according to the other. Though exact similarity is said to play an important role in both theories, as it turns out, this does not seem to be the case. The ontology dealt with in chapter IV is a mixture of moderate nominalism concerning qualities and realism concerning relations. In it, quality instances (moments) and universal relations are the ultimate constituents of the universe. While relations and moments are considered to be constituents of states of affairs, which are characterised as objects of higher orders, complexes that are objects of the first order are made up of moments on their own. Among these complexes one finds the ordinary objects. Paradoxically, although relations are necessary for the existence of complex first order objects, relations are not thought to be among the contents of these objects. The main subject of chapter V is a particular version of moderate realism; it is an ontology which is realistic in its recognition of universals and moderate in its recognition of instances of these universals. Instances combine to form complex networks. A theoretically motivated claim is that although each instance has a predicational aspect as well as a universal one, it is simple in the sense of lacking internal predicative structure; though, this claim can be called into question.

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