Ideas, Language and Skepticism
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Aristotelian representations track ontology closely. One result is an argument against abstract ideas that seems puzzling in terms of more semantically oriented conceptions of representation. Hume gives us three sub-arguments against the existence of abstract ideas, when these are supposed to be ideas that represent, for example, all cats by not representing any of the particular features that might distinguish among them. Hume’s argument will, he tells us, prove ‘that it is utterly impossible to conceive any quantity or quality, without forming a precise notion of its degrees.’ There are three arguments that are supposed to show this.
KeywordsSemantic Content External Object Continue Existence Causal Account Precise Degree
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