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The Problem of Universals from a Contemporary perspective| Abstract

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International Research Journal of Arts and Social Sciences

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The Problem of Universals from a Contemporary perspective

Abstract

Augustine Okwa*

The difference inherent in every existing ?thing? is so overwhelming and yet we find a way of categorizing them. The question, ?What is a tree?? might seem pseudo prima facie, but in an attempt to proffer a laudable answer to this question, one is immediately confronted with myriads of difficulties. The name ?tree? refers to a tall perennial woody plant having a main trunk and branches forming a distinct elevated crown. Now, does this phenomenal description bring to light a plant that serves as a quintessence for categorizing all others that possess the same properties or, these properties summing up to a single ?thing? are mere concepts without factual existence? If they possess factual existence, where do these quintessential ?things? reside? If we presume that their existence is not real, how do we account for the epiphenomenal representation of multifarious things in the world understood within the confines of a single concept? From the foregoing, it is evident that regardless of the fact that the alias of the problem of universals is the problem of one and many, the problem of Universals is not just one problem but many. Consequently, in this paper, I shall try to beam light on the problem by attempting to state the problem in clear terms, then engender into a phenomenological expos? of the problem, thereof, I shall strive to illuminate the arguments proffered on the subject.

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