Single Idea 6719

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals]

Full Idea

He that knows he has no other than particular ideas, will not puzzle himself in vain to find out and conceive the abstract idea annexed to any name.

Gist of Idea

No one will think of abstractions if they only have particular ideas


George Berkeley (The Principles of Human Knowledge [1710], Intro 24)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.62

A Reaction

A nice point against universals. Maybe gods only think in particulars. One particular on its own could never suggest a universal. How are you going to spot patterns if you don't think in universals? Maths needs patterns.

Related Idea