This article investigates a twelfth-century realist view on universals, the individuum-theory. The individuum-theory is criticized by Peter Abelard and Joscelin of Soissons, and endorsed by 'Quoniam de generali' as well as by the unpublished Isagoge commentary found in MS Paris, BnF, lat. 3237, which is here taken into account for the first time. The individuum-theory blurs traditional distinctions between nominalism and realism by claiming that the universal is the individual thing itself. In this paper, I present the main strategies for such a claim; namely, putting forward identity "by indifference," distinguishing status and attentiones, and neutralizing opposite predicates. I argue that these strategies have parallels in Abelard's own views. The individuum-theory's paradoxical realism seems to defend universal res after criticisms were advanced against more traditional material essence realism, and it seems to have been using some of the nominalists' tools (particularly Abelardian tools) in its endeavor.


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pp. 557-581
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