more from Michael Devitt

Single Idea 8501

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / c. Nominalism about abstracta]

Full Idea

For 'a and b have the same property, F-ness' the Quinean Nominalist has a paraphrase to hand: 'a and b are both F'. ..In denying that this object need have properties, the Quinean is not denying that it really is F.

Gist of Idea

Quineans take predication about objects as basic, not reference to properties they may have


Michael Devitt ('Ostrich Nominalism' or 'Mirage Realism'? [1980], p.95)

Book Reference

'Properties', ed/tr. Mellor,D.H. /Oliver,A [OUP 1997], p.95

A Reaction

The question that remains is why 'F' is used of both a and b. We don't call a and b 'a', because they are different. Quine falls back on resemblance. I suspect Quineans of hiding behind the semantics.