Single Idea 7952

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 3. Predicate Nominalism]

Full Idea

Predicate nominalism is the view that what all things to which the same word applies have in common is simply our willingness to apply the same word to them.

Gist of Idea

If we apply the same word to different things, it is only because we are willing to do so


report of Nelson Goodman (The Structure of Appearance [1951], Ch.6) by Cynthia Macdonald - Varieties of Things

Book Reference

Macdonald,Cynthia: 'Varieties of Things' [Blackwell 2005], p.227

A Reaction

This is Goodman's 'extreme nominalist' position. This seems also to be an anti-realist position, as it denies any 'joints' to nature (Idea 7953). It strikes me as daft. WHY are we willing to apply words in certain ways?

Related Idea

Idea 7953 Reasoning needs to cut nature accurately at the joints [Plato]