Nominalism and Infinite Regress Arguments
by J.P. Moreland
- Title: Resemblance Extreme Nominalism and Infinite Regress Arguments
- Date: January 2003
- Source: The Modern Schoolman 80 (January 2003): 85-98.
- Article Type: Journal Article
- Audience: Advanced
- Kingdom Categories: Life of the Mind
Since Plato, infinite regress arguments have been central to debates about universals. In the twentieth century, the analysis and employment of regress arguments reached a new level of sophistication.
But there is widespread disagreement about the effectiveness of certain regress arguments against one of the most promising versions of extreme nominalism -- resemblance extreme nominalism (REN).
Richard Aaron, D. M. Armstrong, Panayot Butchvarov and Michael Loux have sided with those who disavow the success of regress arguments in this context. My article attempts to argue that they are wrong and that, in fact, properly understand, certain infinite regress arguments are successful against REN.
In this article, I provide a precis of REN and different infinite regress arguments, along with a brief statement of the classic version of the regress argument against REN made famous by Bertrand Russell and Edmund Husserl. I state and rebut Loux's claim that the argument fails and use insight gained in the dialectic with Loux to refute Armstrong's rejection of an object regress against REN. I select Loux because his argument is a clear representative strategy employed by other advocates.
- "Was Husserl a Nominalist?" (article)
- Universals (book)
- Naturalism (book)
- Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview (book)
- Consciousness and the Existence of God (book)
- The Recalcitrant Imago Dei (book)
- It provides a useful precis of the resemblance extreme nominalism position.
- It is a case study in how Husserl's ontology is relevant to contemporary debates about the infinite regress argument.
- It offers critical interactions with the assumptions and arguments of Michael Loux and D. M. Armstrong.