LECTURE 3 INDIVIDUALITY: MONISM. SHOT PUT: AN INDIVIDUAL THING. A KNOT: AN INDIVIDUAL THING?. HOLES? . AN INDIVIDUAL THING?. AN INDIVIDUAL THING?. AN INDIVIDUAL THING?. IS AN ARMY AN INDIVIDUAL THING?. IS AN EVENT AN INDIVIDUAL THING?.
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LECTURE 3 INDIVIDUALITY: MONISM
HOLES? AN INDIVIDUAL THING? AN INDIVIDUAL THING? AN INDIVIDUAL THING?
Colors and shapes are “universals”(properties, attributes, accidents, modes)
INDIVIDUALITY WHAT IS AN INDIVIDUAL THING? NOT: MODIFICATIONS OF THINGS NOT: MERE COLLECTIONS OF THINGS NOT: EVENTS NOT: STUFFS NOT: UNIVERSALS (OR “ACCIDENTS”)
MONISM THERE IS ONLY ONE SUBSTANTIAL THING (“THE ONE”, “THE ABSOLUTE”, “THE ABSOLUTE MIND”, “THE ABSOLUTE IDEA”, “GOD”,…) TWO WESTERN MONISTS: BARUCH SPINOZA F. H. BRADLEY SOME WESTERN AND EASTERN MYSTICS
VAN INWAGEN’S CHARACTERIZATION OF MONISM • “THERE IS A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL THING AND THAT THING COULD NOT HAVE POSSIBLY CO-EXISTED WITH ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL THING.”
TWO FORMS OF MONISM • ORDINARY “THINGS” DO NOT EXIST IN THEIR OWN RIGHT – THEY ARE MODES, MODIFICATIONS, OR ACCIDENTS OF THEONE. (SPINOZA) • ORDINARY “THINGS” HAVE NO KIND OF BEING AT ALL – NOT EVEN AS MODIFICATIONS. THE BELIEF THAT THERE ARE MANY ENTITIES IS A COMPLETE ILLUSION. (F. H. BRADLEY & THE ABSOLUTE IDEALISTS)
THE OTHER RATIONALISTS RENE DESCARTES 1596-1650
SPINOZA’S CRUCIAL PREMISS “IF A THING IS NOT ABSOLUTELY INDEPENDENT OF EVERYTHING ELSE, THEN IT MUST BE A MERE MODIFICATION OF SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY INDEPENDENT OF EVERYTHING ELSE.”