Universals • Universals are abstract ideas. They’re independent of sensible experience (that is particulars), and they are what sets of particulars share in common. • What does he mean by independent of sensible experience? Elmo in a pool of blood. They’re both red, so they both have something in common. But they’re not exactly similar to each other though or else they’d be the same thing. Whatever they share is independent and not identical to any other redness. • P 96: Isolate a property (redness of tomato). Now if you see anything red you compare it to a tomato first before you confirm it’s red. The concept of resemblance tself must be a universal. • You have a set of X’s and a set of Y’s and figuring out where to put an X in. It demonstrates that universals exist and are required to prove things. It is essential to epistemology (even more than sense data because you need resemblance to analyze it).
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Abstraction, A priori and a posteriori, universals