Buridan's Theory of Individuation

In Jorge J. E. Gracia (ed.), Individuation in Scholasticism. The Later Middle Ages and the Counter-Reformation, 1150-1650. pp. 397-430 (1994)
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Abstract

cause other than the very individual itself, and thus there is no ‘metaphysical’ problem of individuation at all—individuality, unlike generality, is primitive and needs no explanation. He supports this view in two ways. First, he argues that there are no nonindividual entities, whether existing in their own right or as metaphysical constituents either of things or in things, and hence that no real principle or cause of individuality (other than the individual itself) is required. Second, he offers a ‘semantic’ interpretation of what appear to be metaphysical difficulties about individuality by recasting the issues in the formal mode, as issues within semantics, such as how a referring expression can pick out a single individual. Yet although there is no ‘metaphysical’ problem of individuation, Buridan discusses two associated problems at some length: the identity of individuals over time and the discernibility of individuals

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Peter King
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Citations of this work

Mirrors for Princes.Roberto Lambertini - 2011 - In H. Lagerlund (ed.), Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy. Springer. pp. 791--797.

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References found in this work

Buridan and the definite description.Alan R. Perreiah - 1972 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 10 (2):153-160.

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