The Nominalist’s Gambit and the Structure of Predication

Francesco F. Calemi 1
  • 1 University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Francesco F. Calemi

Abstract

Call the realist thesis that the truth of statements of the form “a is F” entails the existence of properties only via the schema “a is F iff a instantiates F-ness” introductionism; call the nominalist thesis that the schema “a is F iff a instantiates F-ness” doesn’t really introduce properties into the domain of discourse anti-introductionism. I’ll show that both introductionism and anti-introductionism presuppose two crucial assumptions concerning abstract singular terms and predicates, that in turn constitute the pivots of an (allegedly) cogent argument against realism, that is the so-called nominalist’s gambit. Moreover, moving from the phenomenon that I’ll call property-anaphora, I hold that these presuppositions are reciprocally incompatible. I’ll conclude that introductionism and anti-introductionism are positions based on an inconsistent ground, and that the nominalist’s gambit is without force.

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