Substance: Its Nature and Existence (Problems of Philosophy)
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Substance has been a leading idea in the history of Western philosophy. Joshua Hoffman and Gary S. Rosenkrantz explain the nature and existence of individual substances, including both living things and inanimate objects. Specifically written for students new to this important and often complex subject, Substance provides both the historical and contemporary overview of the debate.
Great Philosophers of the past, such as Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Locke, and Berkeley were profoundly interested in the concept of substance. And, the authors argue, a belief in the existence of substances is an integral part of our everyday world view. But what constitutes substance? Was Aristotle right to suggest that artefacts like tables and ships don't really exist?
Substance: Its Nature and Existence is one of the first non-technical, accessible guides to this central problem and will be of great use to students of metaphysics and philosophy.
necessary condition for a collection of tropes being a substance. Second, it is possible that there is an item such as a lightning flash, or the like, which is an event and not a substance. But an entity of this kind can possess spatially coincident tropes of shape, size, charge, and so forth. Hence, spatial coincidence of tropes is not a logically sufficient condition for those tropes belonging to a substantial collection. How is the difference between a collection of tropes which belong to an
that there could be just one instantaneous event implies that there are times, since events are essentially temporal. Time is either absolute or relational. 3 Relational time consists in temporal relations of before, after, and simultaneous with, which hold either between the parts of an intrinsically temporally extended entity, or between two or more temporally located entities. Thus, the existence of just a single instantaneous (i.e., temporally unextended) event cannot give rise to relational
within t. In particular, s1’s enduring through t does not entail that there is another, shorter-lived, nonmomentary, substance, s 2, which is a temporal part of s1 and which endures through t*. For example, it is possible for there to be an atom, s1, and a period of time, t, of one hour through which s1 persists, while there is no other atom which is a temporal part of s1 and which only lasts for the first half of t. Notice that (D1) requires that it is possible for s 1 to endure through t while
ARISTOTELIAN FUNCTIONS We now turn our attention to the problem of providing a principle of organization or unity for the parts of an organism. Our investigation into the unity of the parts of a mereological compound involved discussions of ideas from physics and metaphysics. Both empirical scientific theories and a priori methods of philosophical analysis played a role in solving the problems addressed in that investigation. Similarly, our inquiry into the organization of the parts of an
of an organism’s parts than a nonregulative vital part. For example, it seems that a human’s central nervous system plays a more prominent role in organizing a human’s parts than does a human’s heart. The principle of organization for the parts of an organism which we shall defend reflects this distinction between regulative and nonregulative vital parts. We are now in a position to set forth the following idea as a promising basis for such a principle of organization. According to this idea, if