The problem of universals is one of the crucial problems of contemporary philosophy in such areas as ontology, philosophy of language and epistemology. Are there general entities? Or is the world only populated by individuals, and universals are just concepts? What role does generality play in science? What is the relationship between general terms and the world? It is not always acknowledged that such questions have been at the centre of philosophical investigation since antiquity and that ancient philosophers have come up with a range of interesting and stimulating answers.
This volume reconstructs the debate on universals in ancient thought, covering a period of about a thousand years, from the Sophists to the late Neoplatonists. Besides offering contributions on Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophers and Neoplatonism, the volume also deals with some lesser known aspects of Greek thought such as ancient medicine and mathematics.