Universals a term used in philosophical language, and divided into three classes, viz.:
1. Metaphysical, or "universalia ante rem," denoting those archetypal forms according to which all things were created. As existing in the divine mind, and furnishing the patterns of the divine working, these may be said to correspond with the ideas of Plato.
2. Physical, or "universalia in re," by which are meant certain common natures which, one in themselves, are diffused over or shared in by many-as rationality in men.
3. Logical, or "universalia post rem," denoting general notions framed by the human intellect, and predicated of many things on the ground of their possessing common properties as tree, which may be predicated of the oak, maple, birch, willow, etc. In ancient philosophy the universals were called predicables, and were arranged in five classes, genus, species, differentia,
proprium, and accidens. In the system of Aquinas universals are thus treated: 1. A parte mentis, or a parte intellectus, involve the theory that universals are mental only subjective. 2. A parte rei involve the theory that universals correspond with objective things. See Krauth and Fleming, Vocab. of Phil. Science, s.v. Universe, as defined by Dr. Porter (Human Intellect, p. 646), is the collective whole, the totality of being as a unit; the world, in its philosophical or universal sense. For its origin, SEE CREATION; SEE WORLD.