, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 241-246
Date: 22 Jul 2008

Christer Svennerlind, Moderate Nominalism and Moderate Realism and Pierre Grenon, On Relations

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Tropes are central in the two PhD theses here to be presented. I will start with Christer Svennerlind, Moderate Nominalism and Moderate Realism. ‘Moderate nominalism’ is defined as the view that there are no universals, but that besides monadic tropes, there are also similarity relations; ‘moderate realism,’ on the other hand, is the view that there are both universals and tropes. After the introductory chapter, the book contains four more chapters, each mainly devoted to one specific philosopher.

In Chapter II, Donald Cary Williams, the Harvard professor who in the 1950s made the very term ‘trope’ famous, is discussed. As far as I know, this is the first time someone has tried to give an overview of Williams’ development. Svennerlind argues that Williams started out in the 1930s as a moderate realist, then became a moderate nominalist whose basic tool in the construction of counterparts to universals is similarity relations, but that in his posthumously published paper ‘Universals and ...