Single Idea 6714

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism]

Full Idea

Universality, so far as I can comprehend it, does not consist in the absolute, positive nature or conception of anything, but in the relation it bears to the particulars signified or represented by it.

Gist of Idea

Universals do not have any intrinsic properties, but only relations to particulars


George Berkeley (The Principles of Human Knowledge [1710], Intro 15)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.55

A Reaction

I always think it is a basic principle in philosophy that some sort of essence must precede relations (and functions). What is it about universals that enables them to have a relation to particulars?

Related Idea