Friday, August 3, 2012

Universals of universals

Both Buddhists and Naiyāyikas agree that it is impossible to postulate universals of universals.
But why not? What about the case of gotva (cowness) and śābaleyatva (variegated-cow-ness)? Is not the latter included in the former?
No, all the members of the universal śābaleyatva are also member of the universal gotva. But this does not mean that the universal śābaleyatva as the instantiation of a distinct category is in itself a member of the universal gotva. One should take care not to be misled by the Venn diagram representations, in which the universal is not a distinct category but an uninfluent container of significant members.

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