Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Quentin Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Arthur Falk

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Pritchard

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


Transcendent realism is the view that uninstantiated universals objectively and independently exist. This thesis questions the content of such transcendent theories, and suggests an alternate way of accounting for abstract terms and similarity in the world.

Traditional arguments for transcendent realism will be discussed, and through examination it will be demonstrated that none of these arguments sufficiently supports the position. Additionally, various realist theories of universals will be examined. It will be shown that these positions do not give adequate support for transcendent theories of universals. I will conclude that there is little evidence in support of transcendent realism, and instead, the criticisms of this position suggests a creative process in our perception of universals.

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