Universals in Medieval Philosophy
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The paper addresses the ancient philosophical problem of the 'universals', how we know something is always, universally true and applicable to every single situation in an unerring and absolute manner. The paper explains the view of medieval philosophers and then discusses the modern views of many social scientists. The paper also shows how in politics, the question of what constitutes universal human rights continues to perplex the international community.
From the Paper:"How do we know something is always, universally true and applicable to every single situation in an unerring and absolute manner? This is one of the oldest problems in philosophy, known as the problem of the 'universals.' In medieval philosophy, this formulation was specifically configured by Boethius to posit the apparent paradox that nothing can be 'universal' because it is never isolated from other parts of things that affect its nature. In other words, everything exists only 'in context.' According to Boethius, a universal has to conform to several particulars. It must exist "in its entirety, and not only in part," that is, as a self-contained substance, "simultaneously, and not in a temporal succession," in other words, it should not be reliant upon a certain and specific series of causes and "it should constitute the substance of its particulars" in other words, it should be unadulterated."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Klima, Gyula "The Medieval Problem of Universals." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2000. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/universals-medieval/#3 [November 27, 2008]
- Nelson, Lynn Harry. "Medieval Philosophy." Lectures in Medieval History. The University Of Kansas. Updated September 1, 2008, http://www.vlib.us/medieval/lectures/philosophy.html [November 27, 2008]
Cite this Term Paper:
Universals in Medieval Philosophy (2010, October 18) Retrieved August 13, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/universals-in-medieval-philosophy-144922/
"Universals in Medieval Philosophy" 18 October 2010. Web. 13 August. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/universals-in-medieval-philosophy-144922/>