Single Idea 8566

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals]

Full Idea

I take the main reason for believing in contingent universals to be the roles they play in causation and in laws of nature, and those laws are what I take to give those universals their identity.

Gist of Idea

We need universals for causation and laws of nature; the latter give them their identity


D.H. Mellor (Properties and Predicates [1991], 'Props')

Book Reference

'Properties', ed/tr. Mellor,D.H. /Oliver,A [OUP 1997], p.258

A Reaction

He agrees with Armstrong. Sounds a bit circular - laws are built on universals, and universals are identified by laws. It resembles a functionalist account of mental events. I think it is wrong. A different account of laws will be needed...