What is Concept Realism? Concept RealismJune 29, 2021
It is possible to answer the question of what is concept realism as follows: Concept realism is the philosophical view in medieval philosophy that suggests that universals have a higher existence separate from individuals.
Albertus Magnus goes to a classification that will divide the situation of the problem of universals into three basic categories and talks about three situations in which the universal can be found. These are “before the thing”, “in the thing” and “after the thing”.
The first view here is that universals existed before physical objects; The second view is based on the idea that universals coexist with the physical object. The third view states that universals are reached by consensus after physical objects, without an objective reality. The first of these views is Platonic conceptual realism, the second is Aristotelian realism; the third summarizes the universal understanding of the nomenclature.
Albertus Magnus is an important representative of conceptualism.
Concept Realism Examples
According to concept realism, concepts or universals exist as real entities independent of the human mind.
For example, hot water, hot air, warm house, etc. While beings exist in the world of images as temporary entities, “temperature” is an abstract, general and unchanging entity as a permanent reality and exists in itself apart from water, air and home. From here, it will be possible to reach the following conclusion: The actual existence; Nature is not the people who are called by the names Yiğit, Tuba, Ömer, but only the concept of “human” or the whole.
According to this approach, the real existent is not the being itself, but its concept. For example, man himself does not exist, there is the concept of “man” as the main being.
What is Radical Concept Realism?
Augustinus, the great thinker of patristic philosophy, both defended the radical conceptual realism inherited from Plato and made some important changes on this view. According to this; universals were conceived as ideas in God’s mind, not as forms existing separately and independently of particulars, as in Plato.
For Augustine, universals cannot be permanent substantial realities because they have no physical existence at all. But the fact that universals do not have physical existence does not mean that they are simple concepts of the mind, because they are in God. Here, we see another similarity between Augustine and Plato, just like Plato, Augustine also says that universals exist in a place separate from the world.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook, MEB Textbook