Der 16. Weltkongress für Philosophie

Volume 2, 1983

Sektions-Vorträge I - Résumés des sections I - Section Papers I

Jonathan Adler
Pages 98-105

Universals, Explanation and Realism

If one had all the true particular statements that there are would such a collection be deficient for the purpose of science? In particular, would we still require a type of explanation that requires irreducible appeal to universals, and modalities. An argument to this conclusion is examined. In the situation envisaged, the realists needed distinctions such as between accidental and essential properties, or generalizations that are accidently true and those that are lawful and true, cannot be made. The argument then is rejected: appeal to universals, and the need for explanations td tell us what might have happened , cannot be secured when science no longer need discover the truth about the world. Particulars maintain their claim to epistemological and ontological priority over universals.