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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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Thanks. There is much to agree with here. "Methodological nominalism" - yes.

My present concern is the commonality, if any, between Nominalism and Idealism. The former dominates the history of philosophy in the high and later middle ages. The latter appears as if from nowhere and dominates philosophy until the late nineteenth century then simply vanishes. (Perhaps ‘Idea-ism’ would be a better word).

My interpretation of Ockham’s position is that we should not confuse the features of linguistic representation with the features of reality. The traditional interpretation of Aristotle is that his categories are non-linguistic items, or things ‘outside the soul’ (extra animam). Ockham says that Aristotle really meant to talk about linguistic items, or things inside the soul (in anima).

My understanding of Idea-ism is that we should not confuse the features of perceptual representation with the features of reality. There are more or less extreme versions of Idea-ism. Berkeley’s position that to be is to be perceived is extreme. A less extreme version is that while the reality is ‘out there’ (extra animam), our representation is wholly unlike what is outside. Kant’s position I always struggled with.

The three main paragraphs deserve three separate posts of commentary. But it is time to pack it in for the day.

Do you mean the three main paras of your post, or of my comment?

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