Hume as a Trope Nominalist
Hakkarainen, Jani (2012)
Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 Supplement 1
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In this paper, I argue that Hume's solution to a problem that contemporary metaphysicians call “the problem of universals” would be rather trope-theoretical than some other type of nominalism. The basic idea in different trope theories is that particular properties, i.e. tropes are postulated to account for the fact that there are particular beings resembling each other. I show that Hume's simple sensible perceptions are tropes: simple qualities. Accordingly, their similarities are explained by these tropes themselves and their resemblance. Reading Hume as a trope nominalist sheds light on his account of general ideas, perceptions, relations and nominalism.
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