Nominalism in literary discourse

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Hugo Keiper (Karl-Franzens-Universit)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error



Nominalism and realism are fundamental positions in (the) philosophy (of language), semiotics, and various other fields, relating to the nature, origin and ontological status of universals or general terms. Realists hold that universals have an existence independently of language or of thought, either as entities external to and preceding individual things (ante rem), such as Platonic ideas and the like, or else within things (in rebus), as argued by Aristotle and his followers. Nominalists, on the other hand, believe that universals do not exist independently of language or the mind and come into existence only after the experience of things. It seems that from the very beginnings of an awareness of such issues in ancient Greek philosophy, these incompatible positions – which

4463 words

Citation: Keiper, Hugo. "Nominalism in literary discourse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 September 2010 [, accessed 03 March 2024.]

13885 Nominalism in literary discourse 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.