Question Explained

Question Explained

Question is a word whose etymological antecedent is found in the Latin quaestio. It is a term that has several uses according to the context.

An issue can be an issue, a subject, or something that is under discussion. The questions can be understood as topics that are the subject of debate or analysis. For example: “The government has not yet solved the security issue”, “First we are going to solve the López case and then we will deal with the Solanas issue, do you agree?” , “The issue with your mother worries me”.

Another meaning of the concept of issue is linked to a conflict or inconvenience that must be resolved. In this sense, there are situations where the idea of ​​an issue appears associated with a fight or altercation: “The players of both teams have pending issues since the last game”, “As a company manager, I cannot accept that there is an issue in the middle of two employees who must work together”, “The issue did not go to great lengths and everything was resolved with a few shouts”.

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A question or concern can also be defined as a question: “There is a question that remains unanswered between us”, “I am tired of your questions! You should trust me more”, “I answered their questions clearly”.

For philosophy, a question is a debate that revolves around some matter on which thinkers cannot agree. Thus we can speak of the question of universals, which is the discussion linked to how ideas and knowledge are related to reality.

First of all, it is necessary to define the term universal. According to Plato, Aristotle defined it as “a one that is said of many”; in other words, it is a term that can be predicated of various subjects. Universals serve as a reference to predicates such as «red», «tall» or «friend» and their existence seeks to justify the way in which we speak of individuals; in this way, we can say that blood is red, and so are some flowers and even the sky at certain times of the day.

Universals are independent of individuals and can be in many at the same time, and the issue that has them as protagonists revolves around not knowing what form of existence they have. Although it is an apparently technical problem, it has considerable repercussions in more than one philosophical field (such as ontology, epistemology and logic) and various solutions have been proposed throughout history.

The possible solutions to the question of universals are summarized in:

* Transcendent realism : also called exaggerated, it proposes the existence of universals as entities independent of particulars (the term “river” is a universal, independent of the Nile River, a particular), which do not depend on the human mind or things concrete to exist, but the latter participate in them;

* Immanent realism : also called moderate, supports the existence of universals but in conjunction with individual things, such as essences or forms inscribed in the latter. The two figures who most prominently represent this point of view are Saint Thomas and Aristotle;

* Conceptualism : in this case, the mind is the space in which universals base their existence, and not concrete things. They are proposed as entities or concepts that arise from individual things. Among the most important representatives of this perspective is Pedro Abelardo;

* Nominalism : universals are nothing more than simple names that we give to things as a matter of necessity, for the convenience of encompassing a large number of things in one word, instead of having to refer to each one of them separately and accurately. Individual things are the only thing that exists.