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predecessor, Plato, argued that all things have a universal form, which could
be either a property, or a relation to other things. When we look at an apple,
for example, we see an apple, and we can also analyze a form of an apple. In
this distinction, there is a particular apple and a universal form of an apple.
Moreover, we can place an apple next to a book, so that we can speak of both
the book and apple as being next to each other.
argued that there are some universal forms that are not a part of particular
things. For example, it is possible that there is no particular good in
existence, but "good" is still a proper universal form. Bertrand
Russell is a contemporary philosopher who agreed with Plato on the existence of
disagreed with Plato on this point, arguing that all universals are
instantiated. Aristotle argued that there are no universals that are unattached
to existing things. According to Aristotle, if a universal exists, either as a
particular or a relation, then there must have been, must be currently, or must
be in the future, something on which the universal can be predicated.
Consequently, according to Aristotle, if it is not the case that some universal
can be predicated to an object that exists at some period of time, then it does
addition, Aristotle disagreed with Plato about the location of universals. As
Plato spoke of the world of the forms, a location where all universal forms
subsist, Aristotle maintained that universals exist within each thing on which
each universal is predicated. So, according to Aristotle, the form of apple
exists within each apple, rather than in the world of the forms.