II—Resemblance Nominalism, Conjunctions and Truthmakers


  • Meeting of the Aristotelian Society held at Senate House, University of London, on 22 October 2012 at 5:30 p.m.


The resemblance nominalist says that the truthmaker of 〈Socrates is white〉 ultimately involves only concrete particulars that resemble each other. Furthermore he also says that Socrates and Plato are the truthmakers of 〈Socrates resembles Plato〉, and Socrates and Aristotle those of 〈Socrates resembles Aristotle〉. But this, combined with a principle about the truthmakers of conjunctions, leads to the apparently implausible conclusion that 〈Socrates resembles Plato and Socrates resembles Aristotle〉 and 〈Socrates resembles Plato and Plato resembles Aristotle〉 have the same truthmakers, namely, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. I shall argue that the resemblance nominalist can say that those conjunctions have the same truthmakers but these truthmakers make them true in different ways. I shall also use this view to account for the truthmakers of propositions like 〈Socrates is white〉, and respond to previous objections by Cian Dorr and Jessica Wilson.