more from Nelson Goodman

Single Idea 7957

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism]

Full Idea

Goodman's 'imperfect community' problem for Resemblance Nominalism says that without mention of respects in which things resemble, we end up with a heterogeneous collection with nothing wholly in common (blue book, blue pen, red pen, red clock).


'Heterogeneous' means all different

Gist of Idea

Without respects of resemblance, we would collect blue book, blue pen, red pen, red clock together


report of Nelson Goodman (The Structure of Appearance [1951]) by Cynthia Macdonald - Varieties of Things Ch.6

Book Reference

Macdonald,Cynthia: 'Varieties of Things' [Blackwell 2005], p.231

A Reaction

This suggests Wittgenstein's 'family' resemblance as a way out (Idea 4141), but a blue book and a red clock seem totally unrelated. Nice objection! At this point we start to think that the tropes resemble, rather than the objects.

Related Idea

Idea 4141 Various games have a 'family resemblance', as their similarities overlap and criss-cross [Wittgenstein]