more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 7618

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties]

Full Idea

Some philosophers are so nominalistic that they would deny the existence of such entities as 'properties' altogether; but science itself does not hesitate to talk freely of properties.


Nominalist say only particular items exist

Gist of Idea

Very nominalistic philosophers deny properties, though scientists accept them


Hilary Putnam (Reason, Truth and History [1981], Ch.3)

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Reason, Truth and History' [CUP 1998], p.69

A Reaction

Maybe scientists aren't very good at ontology? They talk about forces and energy, but don't seem to know what they are. I am inclined to think that we must include properties in the working ontology of humans, but not into strict physics.