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

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

SECTION VII
WHETHER THE PRINCIPLE OF INDIVIDUATION OF ACCIDENTS IS TO BE TAKEN FROM THE SUBJECT 1

1. Almost the same opinions that were given in the preceding Section 2 can be given in this question. However, because the same doctrine stated concerning substantial forms is to be proportionally applied to accidental [forms], therefore, this matter can be very briefly expedited by adding a few [things] peculiar to accidents.3

Therefore, we assume from what has been said in Section II,4 that individual differences are necessary in accidental forms; [and that these individual differences are those] which the individual forms add to specific natures (rationibus), from which they are distinguished at least conceptually; for the doctrine stated there is general and the arguments given apply to all species and individuals. Whence it is [the case] that, speaking about the metaphysical principles constituting and distinguishing things, no question remains concerning the principle of individuation of accidents. For there is in them an individual difference, which is proper to each and contracts the species to the being of a particular individual. Therefore, it remains to be asked only what the physical foundation and principle of this difference is, and [it is] in this sense that we investigate here the principle of individuation of accidents, just as we did with substances. And thus, here we have no disagreement with Scotus, who thought he had put an end to this question with his thisnesses (haecceitatibus) -- which are nothing other than individual differences. For we also admit those differences, although we inquire further about the physical root of their differences.

-139-

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