<philosophical terminology> belief that universals exist independently of the particulars that instantiate them. Realists hold that each general term signifies a real feature or quality, which is numerically the same in all the things to which that term applies. Thus, opposed to nominalism. Recommended Reading: The Problem of Universals, ed. by Andrew B. Schoedinger (Humanity, 1991); Richard I. Aaron, Our Knowledge of Universals (Haskell House, 1975); Theodore Scaltsas, Substances and Universals in Aristotle's Metaphysics (Cornell, 1994); Properties, ed. by D. H. Mellor and Alex Oliver (Oxford, 1997); and D. M. Armstrong, Universals: An Opinionated Introduction (Westview, 1989).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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