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

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

SECTION VI
FINALLY, WHAT THE PRINCIPLE OF INDIVIDUATION IS IN ALL CREATED SUBSTANCES 1

1 . From what has been said thus far against the views above, -- and after as it were, a process of elimination 2 -- it seems that every singular substance « is singular in itself, that is, by its entity» 3 [and] needs no other principle of individuation in addition to its entity, or in addition to the intrinsic principles which constitute its entity. For, if such a substance, physically considered, is simple, it is individual from itself and from its simple entity. If, however, it is a composite, -- for example, of matter and form united, -- [then], just as the principles of its entity are matter, form, and their union, so [likewise] these same [principles], taken in the individual, are the principles of its individuation. Those [i.e. simple substances], however, since they are simple, will be individual in themselves.

Aureolus held this view with Capreolus, On II [of the Sentences], dist. 3, q.2;4 and, in fact, Durandus holds the same [view], On II [of the Sentences], dist. 3, q.2.5 Fonseca, however, referring to it, [ Commentary on the] Metaphysics V, Ch. 6, q.3, says in sect. 2, that it is the most confused of all, and, reduced to its true sense, leaves the question unsolved.6 Nevertheless, it seems to me [to be] the clearest of all, and both he and almost everyone else seem to end up in it, because, in fact, the foundation of unity cannot be distinguished from the entity itself. Hence, just as the individual unity as formal cannot add anything positive [and] real to the individual entity, because, with respect to this, its notion and [the notion] of every unity are the same, so [too] the positive foundation of this unity, with respect to the negation it expresses, can add nothing positive, physi-

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