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Causal Nominalism and the One Over Many Problem

Tugby, Matthew

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The causal nominalist theory of properties appears at first glance to offer a novel nominalist approach and one that can provide an illuminating response to the one over many problem. I argue, however, that on closer inspection causal ‘nominalism’ collapses into either a version of realism or a mere variant of one of the traditional nominalist approaches. In the case of Whittle’s specific brand of causal nominalism, I suggest it is best thought of as a version of what Armstrong calls ‘ostrich’ nominalism, a view which ultimately refuses to acknowledge the one over many problem rather than provide a solution to it.


Tugby, M. (2013). Causal Nominalism and the One Over Many Problem. Analysis, 73(3), 455-462.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 1, 2013
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2013
Publicly Available Date Sep 1, 2015
Journal Analysis
Print ISSN 0003-2638
Electronic ISSN 1467-8284
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 73
Issue 3
Pages 455-462
Keywords Dispositions, Nominalism, One over many.


Accepted Journal Article (37 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Analysis following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Tugby, Matthew (2013) 'Causal nominalism and the one over many problem.', Analysis., 73 (3). pp. 455-462 is available online at:

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