I have lately been reading about thinkers who attempt to elevate the particular over the general. But I have trouble even wrapping my head around the idea.
Is it possible to speak of something being particular without implying a relationship to generality? “Particular” is a general term referring to the non-general.
A particular is an individual item in a class—so there can be no particular without classes. If there are classes that only have one item total, then can they meaningfully be spoken of as classes?
To think of the properties of a particular is to think in terms of properties that could apply to others—that is, properties are general concepts, intrinsically.
To say, as Wittgenstein does, that resemblances within a class are family resemblances, is to presuppose the general concept of “family resemblances.”
This is not intended as a critique of Wittgenstein. On the contrary: it is simply a confession that I do not understand the relationship between generals and particulars.