Ideas from 'On the Reality of Accidents' by Gottfried Leibniz [1688], by Theme Structure

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     unexpand this idea


8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 4. Concept Nominalism
Abstracta are abbreviated ways of talking; there are just substances, and truths about them.
                        Full Idea: I consider abstracta not as real things but as abbreviated ways of talking ...and to that extent I am a nominalist, at least provisionally ...It suffices to posit only substances as real things, and, to assert truths about these.
                        From: Gottfried Leibniz (On the Reality of Accidents [1688]), quoted by Richard T.W. Arthur - Leibniz
                        A reaction: I am a modern nominalist, in my hostility to a serious ontological commitment to abstracta. You get into trouble, though, if you say there are only objects or substances. Physics says reality may all be 'fields', or something.... 'Truths' is good.