Suarez on Individuation: Metaphysical Disputation V: Individual Unity and Its Principle

By Jorge J. E. Gracia; Francisco Suarez | Go to book overview

SECTION IX
WHETHER IT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE INDIVIDUATION OF ACCIDENTS THAT MANY [ACCIDENTS] DIFFERING ONLY IN NUMBER BE SUCCESSIVELY [PRESENT] IN THE SAME SUBJECT 1

1. Many accidents are said to be successively [present] in the same subject when the subject first had an accident and then lost it and afterwards acquires an accident of the same species. And then the question is whether the latter accident necessarily is or can be numerically distinct from the former.

Some defend the individuation of accidents by the subject so stubbornly that they think impossible that even in this way there [can] be many accidents different only in number [present] in the same subject.2 Whence it is inferred that in the same subject the numerically same accident which had been destroyed before is always reproduced, namely, the same heat, the same light, and consequently the same place (ubi),3 the same local motion, particularly if it is in the same space; for the reason is the same for all of these. And Scotus in part defended this opinion, at least when the agent is the same and the subject is the same. He does not base [it] on individuation, however, but on the fact that the same agent is by nature determined to produce the same [effect] in the same subject, [and that no] sufficient reason can be given why it should produce it distinct in number.

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