Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

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CouldntCareMore
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Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by CouldntCareMore »

Just wondering whether anyone thinks the problem of universals and particulars are resolved under BK's idealism. For example, without idealism, actual objects are often thought of as particulars participating in universal forms but the problem becomes either the whole object is just universals (subtract all properties from an object and what's left? Nothing) or we say there's an underlying something that means that the identical properties don't produce identical objects (say my wife's exact identical twin sister). If my wife is just her properties, arguably ontologically and not just epistemologically, my wife and her twin are the same object ( cf bundle theory and 'Black's World').

A solution that's still runs into problems is nominalism that posits a basic fiction to our naming of things. There are no universals, we just name common resemblances with property names e.g. blondness, beauty, femaleness etc. We still have universals on this scheme though because resemblances and the resemblances of resemblances (ad infinitum) also can't be simply particularised.

Is this resolved if all 'objects' are anti- realist perceptions of a single unified field of consciousness?
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by AshvinP »

CouldntCareMore wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 7:56 pm Just wondering whether anyone thinks the problem of universals and particulars are resolved under BK's idealism. For example, without idealism, actual objects are often thought of as particulars participating in universal forms but the problem becomes either the whole object is just universals (subtract all properties from an object and what's left? Nothing) or we say there's an underlying something that means that the identical properties don't produce identical objects (say my wife's exact identical twin sister). If my wife is just her properties, arguably ontologically and not just epistemologically, my wife and her twin are the same object ( cf bundle theory and 'Black's World').

A solution that's still runs into problems is nominalism that posits a basic fiction to our naming of things. There are no universals, we just name common resemblances with property names e.g. blondness, beauty, femaleness etc. We still have universals on this scheme though because resemblances and the resemblances of resemblances (ad infinitum) also can't be simply particularised.

Is this resolved if all 'objects' are anti- realist perceptions of a single unified field of consciousness?

I would say consistent idealist metaphysics must be aligned with philosophical realism as opposed to nominalism. In the most simple terms, the latter confuses a manifestation of an archetype for an 'object'-in-itself. That is like confusing a sentence written by someone which conveys their thought-process for the entire thought-process itself. I am not very familiar with the specifics of "anti-realism", but it seems that is actually using "realism" in the sense of "naïve realism" of modern science - i.e. the 'things' perceived by our senses are taken to be Reality itself. So that sort of "realism" is the opposite of medieval philosophical realism.
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CouldntCareMore
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by CouldntCareMore »

Some writing... feedback welcome (ignore typos, not yet edited!) :

Some of my writing today...Johno Pearce--one for you for your feedback. Sharing to group in case of interest (no worries if not).

Metaphysics
If contemporary physics throws curveballs for materialism, what about philosophy? Can reasoning alone throw any light on our topic? We enter the territory of metaphysics, a field within philosophy that asks about the nature of things. The two main questions metaphysics asks are, ‘What is there?’ and ‘What is it like’? Metaphysics has had a rough time in philosophy over the last century for several reasons, not least the assumption, by some materialist philosophers, that these questions are either answered by science or remain unanswerable. The astute reader will nevertheless realise that such stances are already metaphysical. To assume all reality is either unknowable or can only be apprised by science is to beg the very question we’re asking. There is no getting away from the questions, other than to blithely assume our existing answers which barely deserves the status of ‘philosophy’.
Which Dog?
When we ask, ‘what is there and what’s it like?’, we are asking about ‘objects’ and ‘properties’. We’re asking what a thing (object) is and what qualities (properties) it has.
A big question in metaphysics is whether things are just individual items with individual properties that somehow just happen to resemble other things with similar properties, or whether individual things share in what are called ‘universal’ properties in which they participate.
Let me illustrate. Suppose I have a dog called ‘Heraclitus’. My dog has a set of qualities or properties. These could be listed: mammalian-ness, four-leggedness, brownness, furriness, height, length, breadth, etc. Arguably everything about my dog is describable meaning there are qualities, or properties, that compose what my dog is and what it’s like such that were I to subtract each and every property one by one, I would have nothing left. Is there anything about my dog which is not a property?
This throws up a problem. If an object were just a collection of properties, then how could that particular thing continue to exist if any of them were to change? How many properties can I remove from my dog, and he still remain my same dog?
Let us imagine we have a futuristic machine that can remove properties without my dog feeling any pain. I press a ‘fur button 1’ and one of his hairs are removed. Is he still my dog? Most of us would answer ‘yes’. I press the ‘fur’ button repeatedly until all his fur is removed. Is he still a dog? Is he still my dog? Most of us would still say ‘yes’. I press the ‘legs’ button and one of his legs are removed. Is he still a dog? Is he still my dog? How much longer can I keep going and still have my dog? If ‘my dog’ is simply a collection of properties, how can he remain the same dog if any of them change?
The reader may, at this point, be tempted to say that he remains my dog until he reaches some point of unrecognizability. It may be that we can keep his basic vital organs functioning but he’s stripped back to unrecognizability and still alive. The reader may still feel he is my dog so I’ll press the point in another way.
Suppose now, instead, I buy a futuristic transplant machine. Let us suppose I have also cloned an identical twin dog called ‘Plato’. If I press the ‘fur’ button my machine now switches Heraclitus’ fur with Plato’s. Is Heraclitus still my dog? Most of us would say ‘yes’. Now I switch one of their legs. Now another. Now their tails. Then their eyes. Then their ears…and so on. I reach the point where the only thing not switched is Heraclitus’ and Plato’s snout. Is Heraclitus still my dog? Is he still Heraclitus? We finally switch the snouts. Where is Heraclitus? Which dog is he? If we say he is Heraclitus, on what basis are going to make that claim? All his parts are now in Plato and Plato’s in him. Is Plato now Heraclitus and Heraclitus Plato? If so, how would this be any different from my simply swapping their positions from the get-go and renaming each dog with the others’ name? If we think Heraclitus ceased being Heraclitus at some point of my parts-transplanting, at what point did he cease being himself? You may say, when 50% of his parts were swapped. But why not at 49.999% or 50.999%? If not at 49.999% why not 48.999% or 47.999% and so on. Why not at 0.001%? The problem is that if we say something is just its properties, we have no way of distinguishing an identical object with the exact same properties. There is no longer any way to say that this particular dog is not that particular dog. All we have are shared set of universal properties: so much of thisness or thatness.
We have just run into the ancient debates around identity, change, universals, and particulars.
In the 4th century BCE, there arose disagreement between Plato’s and Aristotle’s ways of understanding reality. For Plato, the reason similar things are similar is that they participate in shared forms or universals. All circular objects share in the abstract form of ‘circularity’ which exists in its own right, whether or not there are any actual physical circular objects. There is a realm of abstract objects or ‘Forms’ that inform the world. For Aristotle, there are forms of sorts, but they have no independent existence except for their physical instantiation in the material world. Aristotle would say there are no qualities or properties except that they exist in particular objects, Plato that particular objects have no properties except that they participate in the realm of universal forms. This is a theme we touched on earlier, the issue of ‘the one and the many’; Platonists will be emphasising the uniting, universal feature that runs through many particular examples (e.g. the one form of ‘circularity’ running through many instances of particular circular objects), whereas Aristotle is focussing more on the multiplicity of particular instances that happen to share similarity.
Both views have their problems. Aristotle’s view tends to struggle to account for the apparent similarity of shared properties and why this should occur whereas Plato’s seems to need a set of universals that become endless. Afterall, how do universal qualities that exist in an independent realm inform particular objects? How does the objects get filled out with the forms? Surely, then we have to have not only the independent form in its realm but a version of infiltrating the physical realm each time it appears? In which case we don’t merely have the ideal form of, say, circularity, but multiple forms of circularity active in each ‘copy’ in the physical world. Worse still, we now not only have the Form but also a conception of the particular joined with the form and a likeness between them which leads to a new form—their likeness. Then you have a conception of the conception of the likeness between them leading to yet another form…and so on. This problem is a bit of a side-track which interested readers can pursue by looking up the ‘third man argument’, but it’s enough to see that Plato’s forms generate their own problems.
Aristotle’s particular objects seem—like my dog Heraclitus—to be just a bundle of abstract qualities but Plato’s abstract qualities seem only to exist in concrete objects. If we gathered every particular circular object in existence, would we lose circularity? Arguably not, but then where does it exist? Is it an idea that exists in a different (divine?) realm? Maybe. Does it exist only in our minds? Possibly. In which case, however, is circularity just a fiction?
This last possibility is the idea of nominalism—which we will get to shortly, but it is worth noting that in large part the philosophical problems we are seeing here come about by dividing reality into two somewhat separate categories—universals properties and particulars. Dividing reality in two (or more) tends to create conceptual difficulties because reality is probably a unity—albeit with variation and variety within it.
Possible solutions may exist either in blurring the two categories into one or in dispensing with one of the categories. Could it be that there are only forms or qualities? In which case we need to deny particular objects. Could it be there are only particular objects? In which case we need to deny shared forms. Another option may be to suggest the whole scheme is flawed—perhaps there are neither particulars or universals but these are only how things appear.
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by CouldntCareMore »

CouldntCareMore wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:05 pm Some writing... feedback welcome (ignore typos, not yet edited!) :


Metaphysics
If contemporary physics throws curveballs for materialism, what about philosophy? Can reasoning alone throw any light on our topic? We enter the territory of metaphysics, a field within philosophy that asks about the nature of things. The two main questions metaphysics asks are, ‘What is there?’ and ‘What is it like’? Metaphysics has had a rough time in philosophy over the last century for several reasons, not least the assumption, by some materialist philosophers, that these questions are either answered by science or remain unanswerable. The astute reader will nevertheless realise that such stances are already metaphysical. To assume all reality is either unknowable or can only be apprised by science is to beg the very question we’re asking. There is no getting away from the questions, other than to blithely assume our existing answers which barely deserves the status of ‘philosophy’.
Which Dog?
When we ask, ‘what is there and what’s it like?’, we are asking about ‘objects’ and ‘properties’. We’re asking what a thing (object) is and what qualities (properties) it has.
A big question in metaphysics is whether things are just individual items with individual properties that somehow just happen to resemble other things with similar properties, or whether individual things share in what are called ‘universal’ properties in which they participate.
Let me illustrate. Suppose I have a dog called ‘Heraclitus’. My dog has a set of qualities or properties. These could be listed: mammalian-ness, four-leggedness, brownness, furriness, height, length, breadth, etc. Arguably everything about my dog is describable meaning there are qualities, or properties, that compose what my dog is and what it’s like such that were I to subtract each and every property one by one, I would have nothing left. Is there anything about my dog which is not a property?
This throws up a problem. If an object were just a collection of properties, then how could that particular thing continue to exist if any of them were to change? How many properties can I remove from my dog, and he still remain my same dog?
Let us imagine we have a futuristic machine that can remove properties without my dog feeling any pain. I press a ‘fur button 1’ and one of his hairs are removed. Is he still my dog? Most of us would answer ‘yes’. I press the ‘fur’ button repeatedly until all his fur is removed. Is he still a dog? Is he still my dog? Most of us would still say ‘yes’. I press the ‘legs’ button and one of his legs are removed. Is he still a dog? Is he still my dog? How much longer can I keep going and still have my dog? If ‘my dog’ is simply a collection of properties, how can he remain the same dog if any of them change?
The reader may, at this point, be tempted to say that he remains my dog until he reaches some point of unrecognizability. It may be that we can keep his basic vital organs functioning but he’s stripped back to unrecognizability and still alive. The reader may still feel he is my dog so I’ll press the point in another way.
Suppose now, instead, I buy a futuristic transplant machine. Let us suppose I have also cloned an identical twin dog called ‘Plato’. If I press the ‘fur’ button my machine now switches Heraclitus’ fur with Plato’s. Is Heraclitus still my dog? Most of us would say ‘yes’. Now I switch one of their legs. Now another. Now their tails. Then their eyes. Then their ears…and so on. I reach the point where the only thing not switched is Heraclitus’ and Plato’s snout. Is Heraclitus still my dog? Is he still Heraclitus? We finally switch the snouts. Where is Heraclitus? Which dog is he? If we say he is Heraclitus, on what basis are going to make that claim? All his parts are now in Plato and Plato’s in him. Is Plato now Heraclitus and Heraclitus Plato? If so, how would this be any different from my simply swapping their positions from the get-go and renaming each dog with the others’ name? If we think Heraclitus ceased being Heraclitus at some point of my parts-transplanting, at what point did he cease being himself? You may say, when 50% of his parts were swapped. But why not at 49.999% or 50.999%? If not at 49.999% why not 48.999% or 47.999% and so on. Why not at 0.001%? The problem is that if we say something is just its properties, we have no way of distinguishing an identical object with the exact same properties. There is no longer any way to say that this particular dog is not that particular dog. All we have are shared set of universal properties: so much of thisness or thatness.
We have just run into the ancient debates around identity, change, universals, and particulars.
In the 4th century BCE, there arose disagreement between Plato’s and Aristotle’s ways of understanding reality. For Plato, the reason similar things are similar is that they participate in shared forms or universals. All circular objects share in the abstract form of ‘circularity’ which exists in its own right, whether or not there are any actual physical circular objects. There is a realm of abstract objects or ‘Forms’ that inform the world. For Aristotle, there are forms of sorts, but they have no independent existence except for their physical instantiation in the material world. Aristotle would say there are no qualities or properties except that they exist in particular objects, Plato that particular objects have no properties except that they participate in the realm of universal forms. This is a theme we touched on earlier, the issue of ‘the one and the many’; Platonists will be emphasising the uniting, universal feature that runs through many particular examples (e.g. the one form of ‘circularity’ running through many instances of particular circular objects), whereas Aristotle is focussing more on the multiplicity of particular instances that happen to share similarity.
Both views have their problems. Aristotle’s view tends to struggle to account for the apparent similarity of shared properties and why this should occur whereas Plato’s seems to need a set of universals that become endless. Afterall, how do universal qualities that exist in an independent realm inform particular objects? How does the objects get filled out with the forms? Surely, then we have to have not only the independent form in its realm but a version of infiltrating the physical realm each time it appears? In which case we don’t merely have the ideal form of, say, circularity, but multiple forms of circularity active in each ‘copy’ in the physical world. Worse still, we now not only have the Form but also a conception of the particular joined with the form and a likeness between them which leads to a new form—their likeness. Then you have a conception of the conception of the likeness between them leading to yet another form…and so on. This problem is a bit of a side-track which interested readers can pursue by looking up the ‘third man argument’, but it’s enough to see that Plato’s forms generate their own problems.
Aristotle’s particular objects seem—like my dog Heraclitus—to be just a bundle of abstract qualities but Plato’s abstract qualities seem only to exist in concrete objects. If we gathered every particular circular object in existence, would we lose circularity? Arguably not, but then where does it exist? Is it an idea that exists in a different (divine?) realm? Maybe. Does it exist only in our minds? Possibly. In which case, however, is circularity just a fiction?
This last possibility is the idea of nominalism—which we will get to shortly, but it is worth noting that in large part the philosophical problems we are seeing here come about by dividing reality into two somewhat separate categories—universals properties and particulars. Dividing reality in two (or more) tends to create conceptual difficulties because reality is probably a unity—albeit with variation and variety within it.
Possible solutions may exist either in blurring the two categories into one or in dispensing with one of the categories. Could it be that there are only forms or qualities? In which case we need to deny particular objects. Could it be there are only particular objects? In which case we need to deny shared forms. Another option may be to suggest the whole scheme is flawed—perhaps there are neither particulars or universals but these are only how things appear.
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

CouldntCareMore wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:06 pm
CouldntCareMore wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:05 pm Some writing... feedback welcome (ignore typos, not yet edited!) :


Metaphysics
If contemporary physics throws curveballs for materialism, what about philosophy? Can reasoning alone throw any light ... etc ...
@CCM ... As far as I can tell, you seem to have replicated the same post, by quoting the original one. If need be, I'll delete it for the sake of avoiding redundancy, unless for some reason you prefer to keep both.
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soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by Eugene I »

CouldntCareMore wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:06 pm Possible solutions may exist either in blurring the two categories into one or in dispensing with one of the categories. Could it be that there are only forms or qualities? In which case we need to deny particular objects. Could it be there are only particular objects? In which case we need to deny shared forms. Another option may be to suggest the whole scheme is flawed—perhaps there are neither particulars or universals but these are only how things appear.
From idealism's perspective, since there are many flavors of idealism, there is no single answer or perspective on that. One way to approach it is to take Bernardo's DID model of MAL and see how we can approach this problem with it. From the DID model perspective the "world of forms" is a creation of MAL that exists within the MAL mind, with the creation being performed by producing/manifesting forms/ideas. On the MAL's "side" theses are pure ideations (ideas of things or forms or properties), however, for alters, when experienced across the dissociative boundary, theses ideation become perceptions which we alters recognize as particular objects. For example, the general idea of circularity on the MAL side is manifested by MAL into multiple ideations of circular forms and further perceived as the multiplicity of circular objects by alters. Alter then "recognize" or "extract" the ideas from these perceptions. Important to note is that both (MAL's ideations and alters perceptions) are still only forms of conscious experiences (just different "kinds" of experiences), they still all happen in consciousness. So, the dichotomy actually disappears here: it is both the ideas (as they are manifested by the MAL) and objects (as they are perceived by alters) simultaneously, and both are only conscious experiences.

There is still another question about the existential status of the ideas (both MAL's and alters'): do they exist "eternally" and MAL is just "pulling them out" from the "shelves of eternity" to manifest into the apparent world, or does the MAL "creates"/invents them in the course of its evolution? Similarly, we alters, being also spiritual activities of consciousness, can either "discover" the ideas by reaching to the "eternal shelves of ideas", or invent new ideas on our own contributing to the overall evolution of consciousness. The eternalist (Platonic) view on this implies that the perceptions and objects (that happen "in time") are "caused" by beyond-time ideas, while in the anti-eternalist view the causation links can go both ways: ideas lead to new perceptions as well as perceptions lead to new ideas, all happening "in time". Both hypotheses are possible within the framework of idealism, and I personally do not know the answer. I do not even think this problem is decidable.
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by Ben Iscatus »

The eternalist (Platonic) view on this implies that the perceptions and objects (that happen "in time") are "caused" by beyond-time ideas, while in the anti-eternalist view the causation links can go both ways: ideas lead to new perceptions as well as perceptions lead to new ideas, all happening "in time". Both hypotheses are possible within the framework of idealism, and I personally do not know the answer. I do not even think this problem is decidable.
Good point. If one believes that metacognition evolving in a planetary environment leading to creative new moral and aesthetic insights is important, one would tend to side with the anti-eternalists.
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by AshvinP »

Eugene I wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:17 pm
CouldntCareMore wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:06 pm Possible solutions may exist either in blurring the two categories into one or in dispensing with one of the categories. Could it be that there are only forms or qualities? In which case we need to deny particular objects. Could it be there are only particular objects? In which case we need to deny shared forms. Another option may be to suggest the whole scheme is flawed—perhaps there are neither particulars or universals but these are only how things appear.
From idealism's perspective, since there are many flavors of idealism, there is no single answer or perspective on that. One way to approach it is to take Bernardo's DID model of MAL and see how we can approach this problem with it. From the DID model perspective the "world of forms" is a creation of MAL that exists within the MAL mind, with the creation being performed by producing/manifesting forms/ideas. On the MAL's "side" theses are pure ideations (ideas of things or forms or properties), however, for alters, when experienced across the dissociative boundary, theses ideation become perceptions which we alters recognize as particular objects. For example, the general idea of circularity on the MAL side is manifested by MAL into multiple ideations of circular forms and further perceived as the multiplicity of circular objects by alters. Alter then "recognize" or "extract" the ideas from these perceptions. Important to note is that both (MAL's ideations and alters perceptions) are still only forms of conscious experiences (just different "kinds" of experiences), they still all happen in consciousness. So, the dichotomy actually disappears here: it is both the ideas (as they are manifested by the MAL) and objects (as they are perceived by alters) simultaneously, and both are only conscious experiences.

There is still another question about the existential status of the ideas (both MAL's and alters'): do they exist "eternally" and MAL is just "pulling them out" from the "shelves of eternity" to manifest into the apparent world, or does the MAL "creates"/invents them in the course of its evolution? Similarly, we alters, being also spiritual activities of consciousness, can either "discover" the ideas by reaching to the "eternal shelves of ideas", or invent new ideas on our own contributing to the overall evolution of consciousness. The eternalist (Platonic) view on this implies that the perceptions and objects (that happen "in time") are "caused" by beyond-time ideas, while in the anti-eternalist view the causation links can go both ways: ideas lead to new perceptions as well as perceptions lead to new ideas, all happening "in time". Both hypotheses are possible within the framework of idealism, and I personally do not know the answer. I do not even think this problem is decidable.

This question simply cannot be approached by way of intellectual models. It cannot be logically deduced from a set of prior assumptions like that of idealism. It should be livingly experienced from within, which, fortunately, is not very difficult. We only need to observe our own ideating activity and make a few inferences:

There is the power of our ideating activity (which we never observe directly) and the ideal content of that activity (idea-forms we observe). Let's call the first "formless force" and the latter "formative force". Since we do not have experience without ideational activity, and we know that this activity must consist in both forces (there is no ideational power without idea-forms and vice versa), we can reasonably conclude all experience consists in the inseparable interpenetration of the formless-formative forces. Another name for "formlessness" is "universal" and another name for "form" is "particular". We will find that this same phenomenology applies to all traditional polarities of our experience. It is very important to remember they are inseparable forces. To say there are isolated universals which exist or isolated particulars which exist is to separate them. Nominalism quite clearly came to embrace the position of "isolated particulars". Personally, I don't think either Plato or Aristotle intended to separate them in their world-conceptions.
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by Eugene I »

AshvinP wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:46 am There is the power of our ideating activity (which we never observe directly) and the ideal content of that activity (idea-forms we observe). Let's call the first "formless force" and the latter "formative force". Since we do not have experience without ideational activity, and we know that this activity must consist in both forces (there is no ideational power without idea-forms and vice versa), we can reasonably conclude all experience consists in the inseparable interpenetration of the formless-formative forces. Another name for "formlessness" is "universal" and another name for "form" is "particular". We will find that this same phenomenology applies to all traditional polarities of our experience. It is very important to remember they are inseparable forces. To say there are isolated universals which exist or isolated particulars which exist is to separate them. Nominalism quite clearly came to embrace the position of "isolated particulars". Personally, I don't think either Plato or Aristotle intended to separate them in their world-conceptions.
I entirely agree that formless and forms are inseparable and I have always been saying that. But I was pointing to a different problem about the existential modality of particulars as they unfold within the dimension of change (time). We know (from our direct experience) that formless aspect is not subject to change, and also know from experience that particulars always change. The "Platonic" question is: is there any "timeless"/"eternal" aspect to the particulars that is not subject to change? The reason I think it is undecidable is that we have no experiential evidence that there is a timeless aspect to the particulars, we can only speculate about that hypothetically.
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Re: Universals, particulars and nominalism under A/ idealism

Post by AshvinP »

Eugene I wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:24 pm
AshvinP wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:46 am There is the power of our ideating activity (which we never observe directly) and the ideal content of that activity (idea-forms we observe). Let's call the first "formless force" and the latter "formative force". Since we do not have experience without ideational activity, and we know that this activity must consist in both forces (there is no ideational power without idea-forms and vice versa), we can reasonably conclude all experience consists in the inseparable interpenetration of the formless-formative forces. Another name for "formlessness" is "universal" and another name for "form" is "particular". We will find that this same phenomenology applies to all traditional polarities of our experience. It is very important to remember they are inseparable forces. To say there are isolated universals which exist or isolated particulars which exist is to separate them. Nominalism quite clearly came to embrace the position of "isolated particulars". Personally, I don't think either Plato or Aristotle intended to separate them in their world-conceptions.
I entirely agree that formless and forms are inseparable and I have always been saying that. But I was pointing to a different problem about the existential modality of particulars as they unfold within the dimension of change (time). We know (from our direct experience) that formless aspect is not subject to change, and also know from experience that particulars always change. The "Platonic" question is: is there any "timeless"/"eternal" aspect to the particulars that is not subject to change? The reason I think it is undecidable is that we have no experiential evidence that there is a timeless aspect to the particulars, we can only speculate about that hypothetically.

That is why I said we must remember they are inseparable, which is clearly demonstrated in our given experience. What you say above can only hold if they are seperable. It helps to consider that formless force constitutes the formative force and vice versa. The particulars are what make the universals manifest.

"The Infinite defines itself in the finite, the finite conceives itself in the Infinite. Each is necessary to the other's complete joy of being. The Infinite pauses always in the finite; the finite arrives always in the Infinite. This is the wheel that circles forever through Time and Eternity." (Sri Aurobindo)
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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