I read quite regularly about Aristotle holding (more or less) the following position: Universals (properties, kinds, ...) exist iff (or: when and only when) they are instantiated. So for example "man (kind)" exists now iff there are now men. Or: The property of illness exists now iff something/someone is now ill. (The last one is maybe Aristotle's example in the Categories (14a or something)) (Aristotle probably didnt really hold that exact position, but anyway.)

So, my question: Do you know another philosopher besides Aristotle who holds that universals exist now iff they are now instantiated?

  • If memory serves, I believe Acquinas was very much in line with Aristotle on this topic. – David H Sep 17 '13 at 17:38

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