Resemblance Nominalism and Russell's regress

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (3):395 – 408 (2001)
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Abstract

Bertrand Russell argued that any attempt to get rid of universals in favor of resemblances fails. He argued that no resemblance theory could avoid postulating a universal of resemblance without falling prey to a vicious infinite regress. He added that admitting such a universal of resemblance made it pointless to avoid other universals. In this paper I defend resemblance nominalism from both of Russell's points by arguing that (a) resemblance nominalism can avoid the postulation of a universal of resemblance without falling into a vicious infinite regress, and (b) even if resemblance nominalism had to admit a universal of resemblance, this would not make it pointless to avoid postulating other universals.

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