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Crossover QueriesDwelling with Negatives, Embodying Philosophy's Others$
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Edith Wyschogrod

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226061

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226061.001.0001

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Soft Nominalism in Quine and the School of Dignāga

Soft Nominalism in Quine and the School of Dignāga

(p.474) 31 Soft Nominalism in Quine and the School of Dignāga
Crossover Queries

Edith Wyschogrod

Fordham University Press

Nominalists argue that everything that is must be particular. D. M. Armstrong contends, “Nominalists deny that there is any objective identity in things which are not identical. Realists, on the other hand, hold that the apparent situation is the real situation. There genuinely is, or can be, something identical. Besides particulars there are universals”. Willard Van Orman Quine prefers “conceptualism”, a position that acknowledges that there are universals but holds them to be “manmade”. “Tactically conceptualism is... the strongest position... for the tired nominalist can lapse into conceptualism, and still allay his puritanic conscience with the reflection that he has not quite taken to eating lotus with the Platonists”. A school of Yogācāra Buddhist logicians, whose leading figures include Dignāga, offers a criticism of universals and an account of particulars that, in a number of significant respects, conforms to Quine's description of “tired” nominalism. This chapter considers the views of Buddhist logicians about point-instants, percepts, inference, names, knowledge, and universals.

Keywords:   D. M. Armstrong, nominalists, realists, Willard Van Orman Quine, conceptualism, Dignāga, nominalism, Buddhist logicians, universals, point-instants

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