David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Analysis 69 (4):677-684 (2009)
1. Consider a circle. It has both a radius and a circumference. There is obviously a real distinction between the properties having a radius and having a circumference. This is not because, when confining ourselves to circles,1 having a radius can ever exist apart from having a circumference. A real distinction does not depend on that. Descartes thought that a real distinction between x and y meant that x could exist without y or vice versa, if only by the power of God. But Descartes was wrong. Separable existence is a sufficient but not necessary condition of there being a real distinction. The difference between a real and a conceptual distinction derives from medieval philosophy. Aquinas, for one, held that things can be really distinct even though not separable (the form and matter of a material substance or its essence and existence, for example).2 For a merely conceptual distinction between x and y to exist, it is necessary for the distinction to exist in thought only. There is only a conceptual distinction between an upward slope and a downward slope, or between a glass’s being half empty and half full. Not only are the members of such pairs inseparable (whether by God or in any other way), but there is no real distinction between them. There is no numerical distinctness between the entities or qualities between which there is only a conceptual distinction. To this extent alone is Galen Strawson (2008) correct.3 But when it comes to..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Mark Heller (1992). Things Change. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (3):695-704.
David S. Oderberg (2004). Temporal Parts and the Possibility of Change. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):686–708.
Citations of this work BETA
Christopher J. Austin (forthcoming). Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution. Synthese:1-18.
Ben Page (2015). The Dispositionalist Deity: How God Creates Laws and Why Theists Should Care. Zygon 50 (1):113-137.
Similar books and articles
Philip Kremer (1997). Dunn's Relevant Predication, Real Properties and Identity. Erkenntnis 47 (1):37-65.
Sungho Choi (2012). Intrinsic Finks and Dispositional/Categorical Distinction. Noûs 46 (2):289-325.
Colin Connors (2009). Scotus and Ockham. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:141-153.
Alan C. Kingsley (2004). The Only X and Y Principle. Inquiry 47 (4):338 – 359.
Justin Skirry (2004). Does Descartes's Real Distinction Argument Prove Too Much? American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):399-423.
Troy Cross (2005). What is a Disposition? Synthese 144 (3):321-41.
Christopher J. Insole (2000). Why John Hick Cannot, and Should Not, Stay Out of the Jam Pot. Religious Studies 36 (1):25-33.
Justin Skirry (2004). Descartes's Conceptual Distinction and its Ontological Import. Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (2):121-144.
Added to index2009-09-23
Total downloads70 ( #63,158 of 1,911,818 )
Recent downloads (6 months)20 ( #32,706 of 1,911,818 )
How can I increase my downloads?