, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 65–87 | Cite as

Proof of the Existence of Universals—and Roman Ingarden’s Ontology

  • Ingvar JohanssonEmail author
Original Paper


The paper ends with an argument that says: necessarily, if there are finitely spatially extended particulars, then there are monadic universals. Before that, in order to characterize the distinction between particulars and universals, Roman Ingarden’s notions of “existential moments” and “modes (ways) of being” are presented, and a new pair of such existential moments is introduced: multiplicity–monadicity. Also, it is argued that there are not only real universals, but instances of universals (tropes) and fictional universals too.


Universals Particulars Ingarden Ways of being Existential moments 



The present paper was written under the auspices of the Wolfgang Paul Program of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Network of Excellence in Semantic Interoperability and Data Mining in Biomedicine of the European Union, and the project Forms of Life sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation. I would also like to thank, first, Kevin Mulligan, Barry Smith, and Peter Simons for making me aware of Roman Ingarden’s philosophy, for discussions, and for some comments on this paper; Peter of course also for letting me publish his drawing. Second, I would like to thank Marek Rosiak of the University of Lodz, Poland, for several discussions about the interpretation of Ingarden, including important comments on this paper. Third, for some comments, I would like to thank the participants of the conferences (a) “Logic, Ontology, Aesthetics. The Golden Age of Polish Philosophy”, Montreal, Canada, September 23–26, 2004, where the ideas of this paper was first presented, and (b) “The Philosophy Days”, Uppsala, Sweden, June 9–11, 2005, where section 5 was extensively presented. Fourth, I would like to thank three (once) co-workers at IFOMIS, Saarbrücken, Pierre Grenon, Daniel Novotný, and Katherine Munn: Pierre for comments and earlier discussions that led, in a common unpublished manuscript, to the introduction of the notion of “instantiative parthood”, Daniel for discussions about the distinction between kinds and modes of being as well as some other issues, and, third, Katherine for improving my English and at the same time noting some obscurities. Also, fifth, thanks to Ghislain Guigon, Geneva, for pinpointing some defects in the first version of section five.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science (IFOMIS)Saarland UniversitySaarbrückenGermany

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