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Types and TokensOn Abstract Objects$
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Linda Wetzel

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013017

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013017.001.0001

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The Trouble with Nominalism

The Trouble with Nominalism

Chapter:
(p.93) 5 The Trouble with Nominalism
Source:
Types and Tokens
Author(s):

Linda Wetzel

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262013017.003.0063

This chapter focuses on a comparison between realism and nominalism. The ugly side of nominalism is examined here using the works of Quine and Goodman. Both philosophers regarded nominalism with respect to linguistic signs very seriously since its epistemological problems can be brought about by examining how they attempt to eliminate abstract objects. Denying the existence of types but acknowledging the possibility of their existence will help in constructing a nominalist paraphrase. Purging reliance on types, according to Goodman, takes three steps: First, the existence of abstract objects like words and sentences must be denied; second, talking about these objects or characterizing them must be stopped because doing so requires referring to the types of which they are tokens; and third, concern should be expressed regarding all the predicates that come as a result.

Keywords:   realism, nominalism, Quine, Goodman, abstract objects, types, nominalist paraphrase

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