Discussion of universals, What is the problem of universals?

Discussion of universals, What is the problem of universals?

Universals have emerged as a name given to general ideals which are considered the essences of beings in scholastic philosophy. Universals; it is  also meaningful in terms of general ,  universal  and  general concepts .

The debate of universals is a clash of problems, especially in the 11th and 12th centuries. The main source of the problem is Porphyrios’s Isagoge. In this book, Porphyrios questions the status of the species and genera which is called as secondary substance by Aristotle. The various interpretations of Isagoge, which contain questions such as whether the universality exists, where it exists, where it exists, whether it is material or not,   have revealed the so-called divergence of universals .

The term universals led to the greatest philosophical debates of the Middle Ages and to shake the foundations of scholastics. Plato  argued that ideas are the essence of objects, that exist before and outside objects, and that they carry a separate and objective entity. In the scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages Christian Plato who maintained this opinion  Realists  (because they say they are the real assets of the idea), Plato’s opinion is that those who oppose the  adcı on (because they said that ideals were not real but consisted of names). The controversy between them shaken the foundations of scholastics and prepared the preconditions for its collapse, since if the universals are not real, there is no reality of religious dogmas, especially the concept of God.

The discussion of universals is essentially about whether or not there are objective realities, not whether universals exist. In other words, the existence of universals has been accepted in all cases; but where they are and how people reach them is discussed. Let’s try to explain the subject with examples: Imagine two shoes standing side by side, one yellow and one navy blue. These two shoes are separated from each other in terms of their physical properties and the place they occupy in the space. However, they also unite with the word “shoes land that we use to point to these two objects; because no matter how different they are formally, they are functionally identical and united under the same name. In this case, the unity between these two objects with the word “shoes arasında, do these two shoes really exist? Can the uniqueness and uniformity provided by the expression of shoes express these two objects? Or does this unity, called “shoes ayrı, have a distinct existence of being“ shoes bulunmayan that is not found in the physical world? Or should we say that both of these shoes are completely different from each other and that the unity we gather them under is not an objective reality, that is, the concept of “shoes lam cannot be used for both shoes? Does it have a distinct existence as being “shoes”? Or should we say that both of these shoes are completely different from each other and that the unity we gather them under is not an objective reality, that is, the concept of “shoes lam cannot be used for both shoes? Does it have a distinct existence as being “shoes”? Or should we say that both of these shoes are completely different from each other and that the unity we gather them under is not an objective reality, that is, the concept of “shoes lam cannot be used for both shoes?

There are two basic approaches of the kind mentioned above when it comes to the discussion of universals in medieval thought. In the history of thought there is an objective reality of universals, that is to say, the concept of a shoes kendi is independent of yellow and navy blue shoes, and there is no realism of this anlayış shoes ”. It is given.

As a result of the clash of universals in the context of questions such as Univers What are universals? ”,“ Where do they exist? ”And dır Do they exist or are they not independent of external objects?,, The conceptualists (nominalists) and the realists mentioned above. three possible response groups:

First  of all,  thinkers such as Augustinus  and  Anselmus , who follow Plato ‘s path  , claim that universals exist independently of objects and exist outside or on top of them  . This view is also   called concept realism .

The second  group, the existence of universals, but not outside the object or above, that of defending and that dependent on them, so in terms of relations with objects, universals of love (transcendent) the drink is not ( immanent ) is that they assert and   Aristotle ‘s path leading  Abaelardus ,  Albertus Magnus  and  Thomas  Thinkers like Aquinas . This opinion is also  kavramcılık  or  conceptualism  is called.

Representatives of these first two groups are known as realists or realists and believe that universals exist in one way or another. However, the first group is considered to be extremely realistic and the second group as moderate realistic.

The third  group argues that only objects exist and that universals consist of the names we give to similar objects. The name of this view is adultery , and its members are  like thinkers like Roscelinus  and  William of Ockham .

The conflict of universes continued throughout the Middle Ages and resulted in favor of the latter with the influence of William of Ockham, one of the leading British names towards the end of this age. What does this mean? Since those who are truly existent are not particular, but adherents, as adverists say, and universals are nothing more than signs that show similar similarities, the search for knowledge should be directed to individual individuals, ie individual individuals, and developed from them. The only way to reach the knowledge of the particular is to observe and experiment. Thus, the observation and experiment method has become a means of reliable knowledge by the names, or in other words, it is placed on a solid philosophical ground.

The emergence and widespread use of observation and experimentation as a method of searching for information accelerated the birth of natural sciences. A philosophical approach, that is,  adornment , has removed one of the biggest obstacles to the natural sciences and thus paved the way for the process of obtaining reliable information. This development shows that there is indeed a very important turning point in the history of science and in the history of thought in general.

The influence of adultery in the field of religion was also extraordinary; because this effect played an important role in the realization of the divide between religion and science. According to William of Ockham, since only individual individuals exist, the source of all kinds of information must be the experiment, ie the internal and external experiment; therefore, it is clear that there can be no rational theology whose propositions cannot be controlled by experiment or a psychology that wants to prove the immortality of the soul; therefore, the unity, eternity and even existence of God cannot be proved by reason. Our knowledge of God and of things that transcend the truth is based on faith or consists of propositions of faith. The authority of the Bible and the Church Tradition determined these propositions; but they cannot be proved and used in the proofs; they are only believed; that is, it is adopted by believing, not by proving.

So, it has come to the conclusion that the most appropriate solution for the elimination of the conflict of mind-belief or, in other words, the dissolution of science-religion and philosophy-religion, is the separation of their paths from each other. It has shown that the reconciliation of reason and belief which has been tried to be realized in vain throughout the Middle Ages is epistemologically impossible.

Prepared by:  Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 3rd Grade Tarihi History of Contemporary Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook