Universals: Applied to general terms like ‘red’, ‘table’ or ‘human being’ in which an ancient debate from Plato through medieval scholasticism to philosophy today has involved the issue whether ‘universals’ refer to eternal forms independent of their instances (“idealism” or “realism”) or are explicable as merely convenient designations for resembling particulars (“nominalism”).

Source: What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I-III, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11.