[The previous series, 112, can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/jrps-bite-sized-metaphysics-series-112/525/1]here. This series, 113, picks up with the topic arrived at the end of the previous series. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found here.]
[Entry 1 for “particular problems with generaleism”]
What is a ‘generality’? The answer to this question can be horribly complicated; but I think the basic answer (upon which all other more advanced answers must be based) is that a generality is a description: it is about something, as distinct from being something. It is like a reflection in our minds of a pattern of what has happened, or can happen, or will happen. The pattern does not exist as a particular entity; it is about entities.
(Or, to be more specific, the pattern of ‘aboutness’ does not itself need to be the entity being described by the ‘aboutness’. Obviously, there will be a few exceptions, such as when we think about thinking: yet the principle must still hold. Not everything I say with my tongue is ‘about’ my tongue, or about tongues; but I could also say something about tongues with my tongue. This would not obliterate the distinction between a description and an existent entity.)