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Wetzel, Linda. The Trouble With Nominalism
2000, Philosophical Studies 98(3): 361-370.
Added by: Jamie Collin

Summary: Wetzel raises an important but underdiscussed argument for Platonism. We quantify over types (contrast with tokens) in sentences that we take to be true. This means we are, prima facie, committed to the existence of types. Wetzel considers various ‘nominalization’ strategies to get rid of type discourse and finds them all wanting. As a result, argues Wetzel, nominalism is untenable.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on metaphysics, ontology, or any course in which the debate between nominalists and platonists is an issue. The paper is short, clear, and relatively untechnical. It raises an important dispute in metaphysics which has not received as much attention as it deserves.

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