I'm a philosophy novice that's trying to wrap my head around nominalism. In my current thinking there is a big difference between two categories of things that don't exist: non-actual concepts and logical contradictions. For example:
- unicorns, Harry Potter, vs
- married bachelors, four sided triangles.
These are different categories because we can say things about non-actuals (unicorns have one horn on their head, are sometimes rainbow coloured, etc), whereas we can't say anything meaningful about a four side triangle.
Would nominalism say that both of these categories don't exist in the same way, or would they distinguish them somehow?
SEP notes that there are two independent types of nominalism: "Thus there are (at least) two kinds of Nominalism, one that maintains that there are no universals and one that maintains that there are no abstract objects." I think I understand what abstract objects are (and I think unicorns would qualify?), but I'm still a little vague on universals. Would these different types of nominalism give different answers to my question, or would they agree and say that unicorns and married bachelors both don't exist?