Boethius' Argument Against Universals

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Boethius' Argument Against Universals In the essay “From His Second Commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge” Boethius discusses the existence of universals.. By proposing two main arguments, he first shows why a view such as that held by Plato (one claiming that universals exist independent of particulars and that a universal exists wholly in each particular at all times) is false. Then he presents his own view of the relationship between universals and particulars which is …

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…to species and genus to illustrate this concept: distinct individual men give the likeness of humanity. Boethius claims this likeness to be the species. Likewise, the likeness of distinct species (those of a wide range of different animals) make up a genus. In this example, the species and the individual men are analogous to the particulars. The genus then, is analogous to a universal, thus showing that it is from particulars that comes the universals.