Thisness and Events

Journal of Philosophy 106 (5):255-276 (2009)
Abstract
This essay is an investigation into the existence of a very unusual and some would say unacceptably exotic type of property: namely, the property of being a certain individual; or, if you prefer, the property of being identical to a certain individual. In other words, this essay will investigate whether in spite of their exotic nature there are thisnesses, and, in particular, whether thisnesses are instantiated by events. Of course, I have not really said enough yet about thisnesses to motivate the criticism that such properties are exotic; for it might be the case that an individual x s thisness is merely a conjunction of all of x s qualitative properties. And, if we allow for the existence of all of the properties of an individual, it is not overly profligate to allow for the existence of this one additional conjunctive property. This, apparently, was Leibniz s view. Though seemingly ontologically mundane, however, such a qualitative1 thisness is not ontologically innocent. Given the definition of a thisness above, an individual s thisness is essential to it, and there are few philosophers who would wish to hold that all of an individual s properties are essential to it.2 Rather, it..
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Joseph Diekemper (2013). The Ontology of Thisness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1).
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