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

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

SECTION III
WHETHER DESIGNATED MATTER IS THE PRINCIPLE OF INDIVIDUATION IN MATERIAL SUBSTANCES 1

1. We omit the divine substance, since, as we said, it is individual by itself and essentially; whence, there is no more reason to look for a principle of individuation in it than [for a principle] of its essence or existence.


The Sense of the Question

2. Now, in order to understand the sense of the question, it should be taken from what has been said in the preceding Section 2 that in this sort of created substances one can consider a metaphysical composition, conceptually composed of the specific nature and the individual difference. For just as what the species adds to the genus is, according to metaphysical consideration, the divisive difference, that is, [the difference] contractive of the genus and constitutive of the species, so likewise, what the individual adds to the species is rightly called the contractive difference of the species and the constitutive and distinctive [difference] of individuals, which are truly and properly said to differ in number. Indeed, for this reason the species is said to be predicated of many numerically different [things]. Again, we show that what the individual adds to the species, although only conceptually distinct, nevertheless, is real and positive, founding the negation or indivision proper to the individual, because it is by itself incommunicable and distinct from others, that is, incommunicable to other individuals. Hence, [when] added to the species, it constitutes [together] with it an individual, one by itself, under the species. Therefore, it lacks nothing in order to have a true nature (rationem) of difference. For this reason some think this is to be identified as the

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