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By William P. Alston

Some of the most very important Anglo-American philosophers of our time right here joins the present philosophical debate in regards to the nature of fact. William P. Alston formulates and defends a realist belief of fact, which he calls alethic realism (from "aletheia," Greek for "truth"). this concept holds that the reality price of an announcement (belief or proposition) will depend on no matter if what the assertion is set is because the assertion says it really is. Michael Dummett and Hilary Putnam are of the renowned and generally influential modern philosophers whose anti-realist rules Alston assaults.

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At any rate, what Rand is really trying to provide, once her confused and confusing terminology is sorted out, is a theory of “where abstractions come from”. Since, as we shall see, she also claims (without argument) that abstractions exist only in the mind, her account also purports to be a description of how we form at least a certain range of concepts. It is probably needless to say that her theory therefore does not solve the age-old problems she thought it solved; in particular, it leaves the genuine problem of universals very much where it was.

She claims, with great definiteness, that we always require “foil” objects against which to perceive similarities among a group of nonidentical existents (even though the “always” admits of an exception in the case of “axiomatic Chapter 1: The (Genuine) Problem of Universals 27 concepts”). And note once again that she never raises the question whether the two objects might be an identical shade of blue. Note also: we have been told that we cannot perceive “similarities” unless there is a third, dissimilar object present.

The position for which she is actually arguing is simply that all cases of “perceived” similarity are ultimately based on real relations of commensurability whether we are aware of it or not. Prof. C: I understand how one grasps similarity on the perceptual level. Aristotle, presumably, was unable to identify how we grasp similarity beyond that point… AR: He didn’t say you grasp similarities intuitively. He said you grasp the essence of things intuitively…. He assumed that there are such things as essences—and that’s the Platonism in him.

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