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David Armstrong, 'Universals as Attributes' from Universals: An Opinionated Introduction - Term Paper Example

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David Armstrong, 'Universals as Attributes' from Universals: An Opinionated Introduction

As elements of particulars resemble closer with one another, identity becomes stronger; hence, two particulars become one and resemblance becomes an identity (109). In this paper, this argument is negated with the supposition that two different universes cannot be identical because they do not resemble completely as they have different elements. Armstrong’s Arguments Structural Universals Armstrong emphasizes in this idea that universals that resemble one another are complex universals and that they have common elements. These are also called structural universals. He further explains that they overlap due to common or identical parts. The more universals overlap, the more they resemble one another (120). Structural universals are considered to have parts according to Armstrong (122). These have non- metrological composition whereby it is possible that there are two can contain similar and simple elements. Hence, he redefines structural universals as having elements or constituents instead of parts. If this kind of universal has the appropriate parts, it they will overlap in a mereological manner. Chemical elements for instance overlap completely. Butane and isobutane can totally overlap because they have a similar element which is carbon (Pautz 110). Universals are Instantiated Aside from these, he also presented other arguments in his book regarding universals as attributes. He holds that all universals are instantiated, which means that any name can be substituted by variables. For instance, when a word has meaning, there is something within the actual world that corresponds to that particular meaning (Magalha?es 307). Plato and Socrates, two of the earliest and most notable philosophers of all time believe in the opposites. They believed that uninstantiated universals exist because objects need to correspond to a particular something or object in the world so that it is to be believed to have meaning. However, there are also things in the world that are considered to have meaning even though they do not actually exist (Pautz 110). Say, for example, the unicorn. It does not exist, but people are able to identify the properties of a unicorn even if it is just a myth. Therefore, they believe that uninstantiated universals like the word unicorn exist. This was obviously negated by Armstrong (120) insisting that the standards in this world are the only ones that have a property and meaning. A unicorn cannot have properties because it exists outside of the states of affairs (Pautz 109). Negative, disjunctive, and conjunctive properties Another argument is that negative universals do not exist because it is something that does not have any mass (m). Armstrong (122) also rejects disjunctive properties because they neither have the properties of mass (m) nor charge (c). However, he considers conjunctive properties as different from the other two properties. He argues that conjunctive properties have both charge (c) and mass (m) properties which are capable of having some things similar that can be factors to consider for identity. In addition, the fact that these properties have some things in common will give way to a great possibility of explaining how universals with conjunctive property can affect other universals (qtd. in Mulligan 30). States of affairs Since Armstrong (109) believes in the existence of properties and relations, he ...Show more


Name of of Professor Course Date of Paper Argument against David Armstrong’s ‘Universals as Attributes’ from “Universals: An Opinionated Introduction” David Armstrong’s Universals as Attributes hold a proposition that the universe exists and that once this postulate is accepted the proposition that they may have varying attributes at certain degrees…
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