Locke on Individuation and the Corpuscular Basis of Kinds

In this paper, I examine the crucial relationship between Locke’s theory of individuation and his theory of kinds. Locke holds that two material objects -- e.g., a mass of matter and an oak tree -- can be in the same place at the same time, provided that they are ‘of different kinds’. According to Locke, kinds are nominal essences, that is, general abstract ideas based on objective similarities between particularindividuals. I argue that Locke’s view on coinciding material objects is incompatible with his view on kinds. In order for two material objects to be in the same place at the same time, they must differ with respect to at least one nominal essence. However, Locke thinks that it is impossible that x and y have the same real essence but differ with respect to any nominal essence; and coinciding material objects have the same real essence. Therefore, Locke cannot hold what he in fact holds, namely that distinct material objects can be in the same place at the same time
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00091.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Dan Kaufman, Locke on Individuation and the Corpuscular Basis of Kinds
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Allan Gibbard (1975). Contingent Identity. Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (2):187-222.

View all 40 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Lionel Shapiro (2010). Two Kinds of Intentionality in Locke. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):554-586.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

213 ( #15,760 of 1,941,041 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

15 ( #56,712 of 1,941,041 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.